Prior to becoming one of the most impactful and influential humanitarians of his time, Kofi Annan was a student-athlete at Macalester College where he competed in men's soccer and track and field. He was a member of the Scots' 1960 track and field team that won the MIAC championship and Annan claimed an individual MIAC title with a record-setting first-place finish in the 60-meter dash that year. He finished his athletic career in 1961 as one of the more accomplished players on the Macalester soccer team as well.
Annan was also a member of the debate team at Macalester and earned a state championship as an orator. Additionally, he was president of the Cosmopolitan Club, which promoted friendship between U.S. and international students. Upon graduation, Annan embarked on a career within the United Nations, beginning as a budget officer for the World Health Organization in 1962. Annan began serving as Secretary-General of the United Nations in January 1997. Four years later, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts as a scholar, diplomat, and unifier. The United Nations Postal Administration released a postage stamp in memory of Annan in May of 2019.