*Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Five years to the day after Alfred Nobel died, the foundation he created to highlight contributions to the “greatest benefit of mankind” revealed the first five winners of the Nobel Prize on December 10, 1901. In identifying the most crucial discoveries in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace, the committees have annually recognized some of the foremost scientists and thinkers the world has ever known.
Throughout his career as an inventor, Nobel managed to take some 355 different ideas from conception to construction, many of them military and none better known than dynamite. Financially secure, he found himself shocked by the headline of a French obituary shouting “The Merchant of Death is Dead” in 1888. The journalist had made a mistake: Albert, the weapons manufacturer, was alive — it was his brother Ludvig, an oil tycoon, who had passed away. Determined to carve out a decidedly more positive legacy, the still-living Nobel set out to make alterations to his last will and testament.
While living at his villa in San Remo, Italy, Nobel suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died on December 10, 1896. A little more than a year before, he made final changes to his estate which allocated 94 percent of his fortune for the creation of five prizes to bear his name. Stunned, his relatives spent nearly six months ensuring the document was not a forgery. …(Read more)