The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895. The prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace were first awarded in 1901. Each recipient, or laureate, is presented with a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money which depends on the Nobel Foundation's income that year. In 2009, each prize was worth 10 million SEK (c. US$1.4 million).
Alfred Nobel had the unpleasant surprise of reading his own obituary, titled The merchant of death is dead, in a French newspaper.Alfred Nobel was born on 21 October 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden, into a family of engineers. He was a chemist, engineer, and inventor. In 1895 Nobel purchased the Bofors iron and steel mill, which he converted into a major armaments manufacturer. Nobel also invented ballistite, a precursor to many smokeless military explosives, especially cordite, the main British smokeless powder. Nobel was even involved in a patent infringement lawsuit over cordite. Nobel amassed a fortune during his lifetime, most of it from his 355 inventions, of which dynamite is the most famous. In 1888, Alfred had the unpleasant surprise of reading his own obituary, titled ‘The merchant of death is dead’, in a French newspaper. As it was Alfred's brother Ludvig who had died, the obituary was eight years premature. Alfred was disappointed with what he read and concerned with how he would be remembered. This inspired him to change his will. On 10 December 1896 Alfred Nobel died in his villa in San Remo, Italy, at the age of 63 from a cerebral haemorrhage.
2010 Nobel Laureates
Richard F. Heck
Physiology or Medicine
Robert G. Edwards
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peter A. Diamond
Dale T. Mortensen
Christopher A. Pissarides
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