Garry Davis, former Broadway actor, former B-17 bomber pilot in WWII, peace activist and advocate of world citizenship (Photo: World Service Authority)
|Born||Sol Gareth Davis
27 July 1921
Bar Harbor, Maine, United States
|Died||24 July 2013
South Burlington, Vermont, United States
|Citizenship||United States (1921-1948)
|Alma mater||Carnegie Mellon University
East West University of Brahma Vidya, Bangalore, India
|Occupation||Peace and world citizenship activist|
|Organization||International Registry of World Citizens
World Service Authority
|Known for||World citizenship concept worldwide popularization
|Children||Kristina Starr Davis
Sol Gareth "Garry" Davis (27 July 1921 – 24 July 2013) was an international peace activist who created the World Passport, a travel document originally based on Article 13(2), Universal Declaration of Human Rights and on the concept of world citizenship. Previously Davis worked as a Broadway stage actor and served as an American bomber pilot in World War II. He was a devoted World Federalist, although a consistent critic of the World Federalist Movement.
Davis was born in Bar Harbor, Maine, to Meyer and Hilda (née Emery) Davis. He graduated from the Episcopal Academy in 1940 and attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University). Later, he earned a Master of Arts degree in geo-dialectics from East-West University of Brahma Vidya, Bangalore, India.
Promoting global instead of national citizenship
- Relinquished American citizenship
A former Broadway actor who served in the U.S. Army during the Second World War as a B-17 bomber pilot in the 8th AF, Davis took such a negative view of his own actions in the war that he gave up his American citizenship in Paris in 1948, in order to become a "citizen of the world". He mentioned Henry Martyn Noel, who had renounced a few months earlier, as one of his inspirations.
- Received support from notable Frenchmen
In France, his "Garry Davis Council of Solidarity" support committee was co-founded by writers Albert Camus and André Gide and Emmaus movement originator Abbé Pierre, as well as Robert Sarrazac, a former leader of the French Résistance who joined Davis in founding the Mundialization World Cities movement.
- Actively promoted universal respect for human rights
Desperate to prevent a possible World War III in a now "Atomic Age", Davis utilized his thespian skills as Danny Kaye's understudy to interrupt a session of the United Nations General Assembly on 22 November 1948, calling for "one government for one world". Along with his support committee, he rallied 20,000 people at the velodrome in Paris to demand that the UN recognize the rights of Humanity. The very next day, on December 10, 1948, the Soviet bloc abstained, allowing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be passed unanimously.
- Received support from Eleanor Roosevelt
Five days later, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote in her My Day column that the UN wasn't set up to govern. "How very much better it would be", she wrote, "if Mr. Davis would set up then and there a world-wide international government."
- Received support from Albert Einstein
Einstein sent this telegram, dated November 28, 1948, to express his recognition. "I am eager to express to the young war veteran Davis my recognition of the sacrifice he has made for the well-being of humanity, in voluntarily giving up his citizenship-rights. He has made out of himself a "displaced person" in order to fight for the natural rights of those who are the mute evidence of the low moral level of our time. The worst kind of slavery which burdens the people of our time is the militarization of the people, but this militarization results from the fear of new mass-destruction in threatening world war. The well-intentioned effort to master this situation by the creation of the United Nations had shown itself to be regrettably insufficient. A supra-national institution must have enough powers and independence if it shall be able to solve the problems of international security. Neither can one nor has one the right to leave the taking of such a decisive step entirely to the initiative of the governments."
- Founded the International Registry of World Citizens
Davis founded the International Registry of World Citizens in Paris in January 1949, which registered over 750,000 individuals. On 4 September 1953 Davis declared the World Government of World Citizens from the city hall of Ellsworth, Maine, based on fundamental human rights. He then formed the World Service Authority in 1954 as the government's executive and administrative agency, which now issues passports - along with birth and other certificates - to applicants. Davis first used his World Passport on a trip to India in 1956, and was admitted into some countries using it. Since then, more than 180 countries have upheld traveling with the World Passport on a case-by-case basis and 6 countries have given it official recognition, at one time or another.
- Political candidacy
Davis ran for mayor in Washington D.C. in 1986 as the candidate of the "World Citizen Party" receiving 585 votes. He also declared himself as the World Citizen Party candidate for the 1988 US presidential election. Davis published multiple books in favor of his cause of world citizenship.
- Issued first world currency based on emissions reduction
At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Davis issued and disbursed a world currency based on kilowatt hours of solar power produced, an idea proposed by Buckminster Fuller. These "kilowatt dollars" were the earliest documented emissions reduction currency.
- Began weekly radio show at age 90
- Continuing project at time of death
One of the main projects Davis was involved in at time of death was the creation of a World Court of Human Rights.
Attempts to help Julian Assange and Edward Snowden
In 2012, Davis sent Wikileaks founder and refugee of the Ecuadorean embassy in London Julian Assange a World Passport. Only weeks before he died, Davis sent a passport to whistleblower Edward Snowden in Moscow in care of the Russian authorities.
Davis entered hospice care on 18 July 2013, and died six days later in South Burlington, Vermont, aged 91. He is survived by a daughter from his first marriage, Kristina Starr Davis; two sons, Troy and Kim; and a daughter, Athena Davis from his third marriage; a sister, Ginia Davis Wexler; a brother, Emery; and a granddaughter Emma Meluta.
- Davis, Garry (1961). My country is the world: The Adventures of a World Citizen. Putnam.
- Davis, Garry (1992). Passport to Freedom, A Guide for World Citizens. Nwo Pubns. ISBN 0-929765-08-7
- Davis, Garry (2003). World Government, Ready or Not!. BookSurge Publishing. ISBN 1-59457-166-X
- Davis, Garry (2004). Letters To World Citizens. BookSurge Publishing. ISBN 0-9706483-7-5
- Davis, Garry (2001). A World Citizen in the Holy Land. World Government House. ISBN 0-9706483-4-0
- Davis, Garry (2005). Cher Monde, Une Odyssée a travers la planete. World Government House. ISBN 0-9706483-9-1
- Davis, Garry (2006). DEAR WORLD, A Global Odyssey. BookSurge Publishing. ISBN 0-7388-2624-3
- Langer, Emily (7 August 2013). "Garry Davis, gadfly and 'first citizen of the world,' dies at 91". The Washington Post.
- Davis, Garry. My Country is The World. p. 13.
- Fox, Margalit (2013-07-29). "Garry Davis, Man of No Nation Who Saw One World of No War, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- Garry Davis blog and biography.
- Green, Susan (2001-03-28). "Passport to Fame?". Vermont Seven Days. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- "My Day". December 15, 1948.
- Einstein, Albert; Nathan, Otto; Heinz, Norden (December 12, 1988). Einstein on Peace. Random House Value Publishing. p. 704. ISBN 978-0517345801. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
- World Government of World Citizen: Visas access-date=March 10, 2015
- World Government House
- Global Radio Alliance
- Davis, Garry (April 25, 2013). "A New Kind of Court". Blogspot. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
- "Vt. man who tried to help Edward Snowden dies". WCAX News. 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
- Dear World, A Global Odyssey (2000) ISBN 0-7388-2623-5
- Views from My Space (2009) ISBN 1-4392-1792-0
- World Peace Is You (ebook)
- Views From My SpaceBook II (2011) ISBN 978-1467909792
- World Citizen Garry Davis Goes to Court (2011) ISBN 978-1467988988
- Garry Davis's blog. Accessed 25 March 2006.
- "What's a World Passport?" Daniel Engber, Slate Magazine. Accessed 25 March 2006.
- Davis v. District Director. INS, 481 F. Supp. 1178 (D.D.C. 1979) Accessed 4 November 2006.