Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Nobel Prize Winner is....

Wait a minute, where did that name come from?

Alfred Bernhard Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden, 21 October 1833. He was not a strong child and his doting mother lovingly nursed him to health. At the age of nine his parents moved to St. Petersburg, Russia. Alfred studied Chemistry with Nikolay Nikolaevich Zinin and continued his studies in the same field even after moving to the United States at the age of eighteen. His studies in chemistry brought him to the study of explosives and eventually to the ‘safer’ manufacture and use of nitroglycerine. Unfortunately a powerful explosion at their factory in Heleneborg in Sweden on September 3 , 1864 took the lives of five people. Among them Alfred’s younger brother Emil.
It is interesting to note that Alfred Nobel became quite proficient in six languages despite lacking a formal middle and highschool education. He spoke Swedish, French, Russian, English, German and Italian. He also held held 355 different patents with dynamite being the most famous.

There were several women in Alfred Nobel’s life, but none of these relationships ever lead to marriage or children. His work was his true love in the end and when he wrote his last will in 1895 he left much of his wealth to the foundation which bestows the famous ‘Nobel’ prizes. The first prize was given in 1901 to Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, who shared it with Frédéric Passy. The Nobel prize honors outstanding achievements in chemistry, literature, medicine, physics for work in peace and now economics.
Alfred Nobel was only 63 years old when he passed away in 1896 in Sanremo, Italy.

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