Known for works such as Europe in the Making; Peace By Peaceful Means: Peace and Conflict, Development and Civilization; and Globalizing God: Religion, Spirituality and Peace, this Norwegian-born sociologist, mathematician, historian, economist, and political scientist is particularly notable for his work in the field of peace and conflict studies.
After earning doctorates in both mathematics and sociology from the University of Oslo, he began teaching at Columbia University in New York City.
In 1959, he founded Oslo, Norway's Peace Research Institute. Several years later, he established the Journal of Peace Research and began heading the Peace and Conflict Studies programs at both the University of Oslo and the University of Hawaii.
His first marriage, to sociologist and politician Ingrid Eide, resulted in children named Harald and Andreas. His second marriage, to Fumiko Nishimura, produced two more children: Irene and Fredrik.
He and Swedish author Astrid Lindgren were both recipients of the prestigious Right Livelihood Award.