Peace Pilgrim, born Mildred Lisette Norman on July 18, 1908, lived modestly during her early years on a small farm in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey. She graduated from Egg Harbor High School and delivered the valedictory address at her high school commencement.
She worked as a secretary at Renault Winery, America’s oldest continually operating winery, and after a failed marriage and years of quiet contemplation, she embarked on a journey that would last the rest of her life. Her 28-year pilgrimage was one of "prayer and example."
After relinquishing her identity and adopting the name Peace Pilgrim, she began walking at the head of the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California on Jan. 1, 1953.
A penniless pilgrim, wearing a blue tunic and carrying only a comb and toothbrush, Peace Pilgrim crossed the country seven times, visited Canada and Mexico, and was the first woman to walk the Appalachian Trail in one year.
She vowed to remain a wanderer until humankind learned the way of peace.
Peace Pilgrim stopped counting the miles at 25,000 in 1964, but continued to walk the remainder of her days spreading her simple, but profound message of peace.
Peace Pilgrim and her driver were killed in a head-on collision on the way to a speaking engagement in Knox, Indiana on July 7, 1981.
Peace Pilgrim 100.com
"This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth, and hatred with love."
"I have walked 25,000 miles as a penniless pilgrim. I own only what I wear and what I carry in my small pockets. I belong to no organization. I have said that I will walk until given shelter and fast until given food, remaining a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace.”