President Barack Obama sits in front of framed photos of previous Nobel Peace Prize winners during a Signing Ceremony at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
FILE - In this March 25, 1957 file photo, then Mayor of Rome Umberto Tupini, standing at center right, addresses delegates from the six founding nations of the European Economic Community, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. The European Union, as it became, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 for promoting "peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights" in Europe. (AP Photo, File)
FILE - In this March 26, 1979, file photo Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, left, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, center, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin clasp hands at the White House after signing the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Sadat and Begin were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978. Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize himself in 2002 "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts." This year's winner is set to be announced on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/ Bob Daugherty, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 1944, file photo, Staff Aide Jane Steward, an American Red Cross worker, lights a cigarette for a wounded French gendarme at a U.S. evacuation hospital in Brittany. In 1944, the Red Cross was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the second time, having also won it in 1917. It then claimed the award for what still is a record third time in 1963. (AP Photo, File)
FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, file photo, Malala Yousafzai speaks about her fight for girls' education on the International Day of the Girl at the World Bank in Washington. Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for her "heroic struggle" for girls' rights to education in 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
FILE - In this September 20, 1977 file photo, Mother Teresa of Calcutta prays during a religious service in Pescara, Italy. A champion among the poor in India, Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. (AP Photo/Gianni Foggia, File)
FILE - In this August 26, 1980 file photo, Lech Walesa stands on a make shift podium as he addresses striking workers at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, recognized for his efforts in organizing free trade unions and strikes which symbolized political freedom for Poland. In 1990, Walesa became a freely elected president of Poland. (AP Photo/Reportagebild, File)
FILE - In this Saturday Dec. 10, 2016 file photo, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos accepts the applause during the Peace Prize awarding ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo. Santos was awarded the prize for his efforts to bring Colombia's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end. (Haakon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix POOL via AP, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. King won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, recognized for his leadership in the American civil rights movement and for advocating non-violence. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - In this file photo dated Wednesday Dec. 9, 1998, the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize winners John Hume, right, and David Trimble, at the Grand Hotel in Oslo. The Nobel Committee praised the pair "for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland" and their roles in delivering the Good Friday accord earlier in the year. The peace has largely held since. (AP Photo/Jon Eeg, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 10, 1993 file photo, South African Deputy President F.W. de Klerk, right, and South African President Nelson Mandela pose with their Nobel Peace Prize Gold Medals and Diplomas in Oslo. The Nobel Committee praised the pair "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa." (AP Photo/File)
FILE - In this 1904 file photo, Theodore Roosevelt campaigns for the presidency in 1904. Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for negotiating peace in the 1904-5 war between Russia and Japan. Roosevelt, who was U.S. President for eight years from 1901, also resolved a dispute with Mexico. (AP Photo, File)
FILE - In this June 5, 1991 file photo, Soviet president Mikhail S. Gorbachev receives applause from the audience in Oslo as he enters the lecture hall to deliver his long-delayed Nobel Peace lecture. Gorbachev, who was awarded the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, was hugely influential in bringing an end to the Cold War. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
LONDON (AP) — The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the most prestigious honors on the planet, but it's provoked plenty of debate over the years.
Whoever is awarded this year's prize on Friday will join a list of memorable victors. Since the first award in 1901, it's been awarded to 130 recipients. One noteworthy anniversary this year is the centenary of the Red Cross's first of three awards.
The roots of the award were in the will of Alfred Nobel, the wealthy Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite. In it, he said he wanted the award handed to the "person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
In 1901, five years after his death, a committee in Norway picked Switzerland's Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, and Frederic Passy, the French economist who believed free trade among nations promoted peace, as the first recipients of the awards.
Since it's a very political decision, the award has often provoked controversy, such as in 1973 when U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho were honored for their efforts to achieve a cease-fire in the Vietnam War. And then there's the controversy over why some — such as Mahatma Gandhi — never won.
Bar a few occasions, the award has been handed out annually. During the world wars of the first half of the 20th century, no peace prize was awarded except on the two occasions when it was given to the Red Cross, in 1917 and 1944. The organization won it again in 1963 — no recipient has won it as often.
U.S. presidents regularly win, from Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 through to Barack Obama in 2009.
Other organizations to have won the award include Amnesty International and the European Union.
Sixteen women have been awarded the award, the most recent being Malala Yousafzai in 2014, who won alongside Kailash Satyarthi for "their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education"
The award is announced in October but is always handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death, in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.
The Associated Press has been covering the Nobel awards for decades. Below are some of the most memorable winners.