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Google Doodle honors explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen

Nansen traded in his cross-country skis to help refugees and prisoners of war during World War I.

Google

It's the 156th birthday of the man who invented the Nansen Passport -- a document that allowed refugees to find new homes during World War I. Google celebrates the life of Fridtjof Nansen with today's Google Doodle.

Born in Norway in 1861, Nansen's early life was dedicated to exploration. He led an expedition across Greenland on cross-country skis, and tried to reach the North Pole on another trip. He fell short, but traveled further north than anyone had at the time.

He turned his attention to humanitarian work after the onset of World War I. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his efforts to help prisoners of war and refugees.