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Who was Alfred Nobel and why is the prize won by Soyinka, Obama and more named after him?

Follow @eventlabgh  < The award is named after Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor, chemist, engineer, philanthropist and businessman. Laureate medal...

By Eventlabgh , in Celebrity Entertainment News , at October 15, 2016


 

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  • The award is named after Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor, chemist, engineer, philanthropist and businessman.
Laureate medal featuring Alfred Nobel’s portrait

The Nobel Prize is a set of international awards given out in six categories – physics, chemistry, peace, literature, medicine and economic sciences – in recognition of academic, scientific and cultural excellence. It was established in 1895 and the first set were given out in 1901.

The award is named after Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor, chemist, engineer, philanthropist and businessman.

In his lifetime, he was famed for inventing dynamite. He also owned an iron and steel mill whose products were mainly used for arms and armaments.

US president Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009

At the age of 55, he read an erroneous obituary about him that described him as a ‘merchant of death’ because of his work. The newspaper mistook him for his brother Ludvig, who had recently died, but it was correct in describing Nobel’s businesses.

That event made him concerned for his legacy and how he would be remembered when he eventually died. Thus, he rewrote his will.

His last will stated that his fortune, 31 million Swedish Krona (which is approximately $265m today) be used to create a series of prizes for those ‘who confer the greatest benefit to mankind’.

When his will was read, it caused a lot of controversy between his family and the executors of the will. It took five years after his death for the first Nobel Prize to be awarded.

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Wole Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986

Since then however, there has been 579 Nobel Prizes between 911 laureates. Winners have ranged included Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Marie Curie, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Malala Yousafzai, Wangari Maathai and Wole Soyinka.

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded this week to American singer Bob Dylan, marking the first time the prestigious award would be given to a musician.

 

 

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