The Nobel Committee received a record 205 nominations for this year's Peace Prize. By rule, the names of the nominees (172 individuals and 33 organizations) are kept secret for 50 years. The controversy over President Barack Obama's selection has prompted speculation about who the other nominees were and many people have offered candidates they say are more deserving of the honor.
A selection of other potentially worthy recipients:
Hu Jia: A human rights activist and outspoken critic of the Chinese government. Hu, 36, who was jailed last year for "inciting subversion" before the Olympic Games, is being held in prison on a 3 1/2 year sentence. Fellow dissidents Gao Zhisheng and Wei Jingsheng were also named. Gao disappeared in February after being arrested by Chinese police. Wei spent 17 years in prison before he was released in 1997 and sent to the United States.
Piedad Cordoba: The Colombian senator had been called the leading candidate for her work to release hostages held by left-wing guerrillas. Cordoba, 54, was nominated by another Peace Prize recipient, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who won in 1980.
Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad: A philosophy professor in Islamic faith at Jordan University and member of the royal family, bin Muhammad, 42, has become known for trying to bridge gaps with other religions.
Sima Samar: An Afghan physician and human rights activist, Samar, 52, is the head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and serves as the U.N. special envoy to Darfur. She established the Shuhada Organization, which focuses on health care, especially for women.
Morgan Tsvangirai: The Zimbabwean opposition leader faced arrest and intimidation in his attempts to unseat President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai worked out a tenuous power-sharing agreement with the notorious strongman.
Greg Mortenson: The American founder of the Central Asia Institute was nominated for his work building nearly 80 schools in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He writes about his work in the memoir Three Cups of Tea.
Paul Farmer: The Brooksville native established Partners in Health, which brought high-quality health care to victims of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Haiti and other developing nations.
Krisana Kraisintu: The Thai pharmacologist received the 2009 Ramon Magsaysay Award, considered the Asian Nobel Peace Prize, for her work helping to reverse the AIDS epidemic in her country. She successfully formulated a generic version of AZT to treat HIV at one-fourth the cost of the branded product. She has spread her work to sub-Saharan Africa where she opened factories to produce cheaper drugs to fight malaria and HIV/AIDS.