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Saturday, 1 October 2016

Nobel Prize


Alfred Bernhard Nobel (October 21, 1833 –December 10, 1896) was a Swedish chemist and millionaire, who invented dynamite and established almost 100 arms factories.

Alfred Nobel

His father was Immanuel Nobel, the inventor of plywood.

The Nobel Prizes came about when a brother of Nobel died and a French newspaper mistakenly printed Alfred's obituary under the headline: "The merchant of death is dead." Desperate to leave a positive legacy, he decided to bequeath his fortune to establish the Nobel Prizes.


Nobel's will instituted the prizes in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine.  In 1968, Sweden's central bank added a prize for Economics in memory of Nobel.

A golden medallion with an embossed image of Alfred Nobel facing left in profile Wikipedia

All the prizes are awarded in Sweden, except the Peace Prize, which is announced in Norway because of a request in Nobel's will.

No more than three recipients may share a Nobel Prize.


The first Nobel Prizes were awarded on December 10, 1901.

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 1906 for his role in the mediation of the Russo-Japanese War, becoming the first American to win a Nobel Prize.

The first black Nobel Peace Prize winner was Ralph J. Bunche, who won in 1950 for his mediation efforts in Palestine.


Saint Lucia has won more Nobel prizes per head of population than any other country.

Lawrence Bragg won the prize for physics in 1915 at the age of 25, the youngest-ever winner.

Linus Pauling (chemistry and peace) and Marie Curie (chemistry and physics) are the only winners of two Nobel Prizes in different disciplines.

Marie Curie, one of four people who have received the Nobel Prize twice
John Bardeen (physics) and Frederick Sanger (chemistry) each won two Nobels in the same discipline.


The Nobel Peace Prize can not be awarded to a dead person.

Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the peace prize several times but never won. The Nobel Committee declined to award a prize in 1948, the year of Gandhi's death, on the grounds that "there was no suitable living candidate." The Nobel committee has said this is the 'greatest omission' in its history.

Although the Scots comprise less than one-half of 1 percent of the world's population, 11 percent of all Nobel prizes have been awarded to Scotsmen.

Table at the 2005 Nobel Banquet in Stockholm. By Hansbaer - Wikipedia

Jews are only about 0.2% of the worlds population but account for about 20% of Nobel Laureates.

William Faulkner's screenplay for Ernest Hemingway's 1944 novel To Have and Have Not marks the only time in film history that two Nobel Prize-winning authors were associated with the same motion picture.

Eight Nobel Prize winners had birthdays on February 28. No other date has as many.

The singer Olivia Newton-John's grandfather Max Born won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1954.

Eugene Paul "E. P." Wigner was a Hungarian American theoretical physicist and mathematician. He received half of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 "for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles." On hearing of being awarded the Nobel Prize, Wigner confessed that he had "never expected to get my name in the newspapers without doing something wicked."

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