[Worldkings] Top 100 pioneers in all fields (P. 18) Alfred Nobel (Sweden): The man who laid the foundation for the establishment of the most prestigious award in the world, the Nobel Prize


(Worldkings.org) Alfred Nobel was the visionary and major contributor to the founding of the Nobel Prize, arguably the world's most famous and respected award.

Alfred Bernhard Nobel (21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist. He is best known for having bequeathed his fortune to establish the Nobel Prize, though he also made several important contributions to science, holding 355 patents in his lifetime. Nobel's most famous invention was dynamite, a safer and easier means of harnessing the explosive power of nitroglycerin; it was patented in 1867.


Nobel displayed an early aptitude for science and learning, particularly in chemistry and languages; he became fluent in six languages and filed his first patent at age 24. He embarked on many business ventures with his family, most notably owning Bofors, an iron and steel producer that he developed into a major manufacturer of cannons and other armaments.

After seeing the obit — published by mistake when his brother died — he was inspired to create the Nobels and laid out bequests in his will to fund them.

On 27 November 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Nobel signed his last will and testament and set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality. After taxes and bequests to individuals, Nobel's will allocated 94% of his total assets, 31,225,000 Swedish kronor, to establish the five Nobel Prizes.

The Nobel Prizes are awarded to pioneers who "conferred the greatest benefit to humankind" in fields including physics, chemistry, Physiology or medicine, literature, Economics, and Peace. His family initially opposed creating the Nobel Prize, and the prize awarders he named in the will also refused follow requests from Nobel. It was five years before the first Nobel Prize could be awarded in 1901.


The executors of his will were Ragnar Sohlman and Rudolf Lilljequist who formed the Nobel Foundation to take care of Nobel's fortune and organize the prizes. The first prizes were awarded on 10 December 1901 to, among others, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. As of 31 December 2020, the assets controlled by the Nobel Foundation amounted to approx. US$631.61 million as of 31 December 2020.

Because of his great contributions, the synthetic element nobelium was named after him; and his name and legacy also survive in companies such as Dynamit Nobel and AkzoNobel, which descend from mergers with companies he founded.


According to Wikipedia & thenationalnews.com

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