Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) was the UN Secretary General from 1953 to 1961. An able administrator and statesman, he increased the UN's influence and prestige. He helped negotiate the end of the Korean War and was instrumental in resolving the Suez crisis of 1956. In 1960 he defied the U.S.S.R. by directing the UN to help end fighting in the Congo. Hammarskjöld was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously in 1961, after he died in a plane crash during a visit to the troubled Congo.