Brussels was the birthplace of La Fontaine. He was born there on 22 April in the year 1854.
A student of law at the Free University of Brussels, La Fontaine practiced Law from the age of 23. He began his study to acquire a doctorate in law from the Free University of Brussels. ‘La Justice’a socialist paper was founded by La Fontaine.
Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1913, Henri La Fontaine was a versatile achiever. A bibliographer, professor of International law and Senator at the Belgium legislature, Henri La Fontaine served as Belgian senate as a socialist for thirty six years. As a leading jurist Henri served as Vice Chairman from 1919-32, investing thirteen years as secretary and fourteen years as vice-president.
La Fontaine focused on issues like labor, education and foreign affairs. A bill on primary education and labor reform was his noteworthy contribution. A spokesman voicing women's right, La Fontaine is credited with the introduction of the bill on compulsory primary education for children and implementing policies on internationalism. He advocated a bill on mine inspection in 1897 and openly favored an eight-hour work shift.
In 1907, founded the International Peace Bureau and mentored it until his death in 1943. He acted as chairman of the Juridical Committee prior to World War I. He contributed to the University of Nouvelle and Institute des Hautes Etudes after the World War I while serving as chairman of International Law between1893 – 1940. Henri La Fontaine died under natural circumstances in 1943 at the age of 89.
In1895, the Institute of International De Bibliography which was also known as the House of Documentation was established .Information was made available on any published note in the world, flexible to be filed or retrieved anytime. Books for reference, bibliographies on subjects like social science and peace were made accessible in the House
In 1907, La Fontaine founded the Union of International Association in Brussels. Acting as secretary-general the Union was awarded by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 1951, and UNESCO in 1952.
Voicing women’s rights, La fontaine advocated the emancipation of women. He served as president of the Association for the Professional Educational of Women, president of the Club Alpin Belge. He had issued several thought-provoking publications on status of American women.