10    Dec 20120 comments

Alfred Nobel: The man, the prize

The Nobel Prize awards ceremony takes place today in Sweden. Who was Alfred Nobel, and why is there a prize named after him?

Before the award became famous, Alfred Nobel was best known as the inventor of dynamite.

In 1888, Alfred’s brother Ludvig died while visiting France. A French newspaper mistakenly thought it was Alfred who had died and so published his obituary. Alfred was shocked to read the article especially the description of him as “the merchant of death.” One particular line: "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday," got him thinking.

Alfred realized that this wasn’t how he wanted to be remembered and so, in 1895, he amended his will to designate a large portion of his estate to fund the Nobel prizes. Continue reading "Alfred Nobel: The man, the prize" »

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