Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi

Richard Nikolaus Eijiro, Count of Coudenhove-Kalergi (16 November 1894 – 27 July 1972) was an Austrian-Japanese politician, philosopher and Count of Coudenhove-Kalergi. A pioneer of European integration, he served as the founding president of the Paneuropean Union for 49 years. His parents were Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi, an Austro-Hungarian diplomat, and Mitsuko Aoyama, the daughter of an oil merchant, antiques-dealer and major landowner in Tokyo. His childhood name in Japan was Aoyama Eijiro. He became a Czechoslovak citizen in 1919 and then took French nationality from 1939 until his death.

His first book, ''Pan-Europa'', was published in 1923 and contained a membership form for the Pan-Europa movement, which held its first Congress in 1926 in Vienna. In 1927, Aristide Briand was elected honorary president of the Pan-Europa movement. Public figures who attended Pan-Europa congresses included Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann and Sigmund Freud.

Coudenhove-Kalergi was the first recipient of the Charlemagne Prize in 1950. The 1972–1973 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour. Coudenhove-Kalergi proposed Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as the music for the European Anthem. He also proposed a Europe Day, a European postage stamp, and many artifacts for the movement (e.g. badges and pennants). Provided by Wikipedia
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