Garry Davis

by Amanda Molinaro from Irvine

Garry Davis<br>Photo from (
Garry Davis
Photo from (

In 1948, Garry Davis was a rising Broadway actor with a promising career. When his brother was killed in action during WWII, he decided to enlist as a pilot. He was excited and eager to protect the US, and to join the fight against Hitler's war factories. However, it wasn't long before he was ordered to drop a bomb on a village of civilians. Sickened at the deed and compelled by the pain caused by war, he decided to become an advocate for human rights. He gave up his career and his show-biz family, and set out to prevent World War III.

He began preaching the rights of humanity and publicly speaking out against the war. He dared to interrupt the world leaders to demand that they hold worldwide elections at the UN Conference, to outlaw war. On December 9th, 1948, he rallied over 20,000 war-weary Europeans in Paris to demand that the UN recognize the rights of humanity. The very next day, the UN unanimously passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), declaring the "equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

Empowered by this victory, Garry Davis declared the founding of a government of, by, and for the people of the world. He gave up his US citizenship, and declared himself the first official world citizen. Many dismissed him as a "frustrated veteran", or as simply crazy, but thousands of others who were shocked by the horrors of war began to take world citizenship seriously. Davis was thrown in prison for not having legal papers, but something amazing began to happen: hundreds of thousands of people started registering as world citizens. Davis' new government began issuing IDs, passports, marriage licenses, and birth certificates. Governments began stamping passports and thousands of refugees and detainees who had been incarcerated for lack of identification were able to obtain world passports. Citizens and refugees who did not have valid papers were suddenly able to acquire passports.

To date, more than 950,000 people have registered as world citizens. More than 160 nations recognize and stamp the world passports that are issued by Davis' government. Today, Garry Davis continues to work for a world in which society is not divided by nations, and where humanity is united as one.

Page created on 12/7/2010 3:38:56 PM

Last edited 1/6/2017 10:07:27 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

One! The Garry Davis Story by Arthur Kanegis - View a short film about Garry Davis submitted to the 2010 MY HERO Short Film Festival.
Garry Davis' website
MY HERO story on L'Abbe Pierre, - an early supporter of Garry Davis