Sky Television's Foreign Editor, Tim Marshall, described it as one of the most controversial Nobel awards ever - second only to the honouring of Yasser Arafat. Nominations for this year's award closed on 1st February - only eleven days after Barack Obama became US president.
Even many of his admirers will be surprised at this award. There were audible gasps of astonishment at the announcement. America's 44th President does not yet have any big foreign policy achievements to his name - although the Nobel Committee cited his aspiration to rid the world of nuclear weapons as one explanation.
Sky's verdict: He got it for NOT being George W Bush.