Borlaug 'inspired thousands to work to feed the world'

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Colleagues and friends of Norman Borlaug remembered the Nobel Peace Prize winner on Tuesday as a humanitarian who "built armies of agricultural workers" to combat famine in the world's developing countries.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was president of Texas A&M University during the scientist's tenure at the school, told about 1,000 who attended the memorial that Borlaug was a teacher, a scientist and a warrior against hunger.

He "inspired thousands to work to feed the world, and inspired millions to believe it's possible. Our most important observance of Norm's passing," Gates said, is to persist in that work and in that belief.

Borlaug was known as the father of the "green revolution," which transformed agriculture through high-yield, disease-resistant crop varieties and other innovations, helping to more than double world food production between 1960 and 1990. Many experts credit the green revolution with averting global famine during the second half of the 20th century and saving perhaps 1 billion lives.

Borlaug, who was 95 when he died Sept. 12 from complications of cancer, was described Tuesday as a humble, compassionate, soft-spoken and dedicated man who believed all have a duty to contribute to the eradication of hunger worldwide.

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