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In his will, Nobel directed that most of his fortune be invested to form a fund, the interest of which was to be distributed annually "in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind." He stipulated that the interest be divided into five equal parts, each to be awarded to the person who made the most important contribution in one of five different fields. In addition to the three scientific awards and the literature award, a prize would go to the person who had done "the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." Nobel also specified certain institutions that would select the prizewinners. The will indicated that "no consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize."
In 1968 the Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, created an economics prize to commemorate the bank's 300th anniversary. This prize, called the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, was first awarded in 1969. The bank provides a cash award equal to the other Nobel prizes.
(1833-96), Swedish chemist, inventor, and philanthropist, born in Stockholm.
After receiving an education in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in the United
States, where he studied mechanical engineering, he returned to St. Petersburg
to work under his father, developing mines, torpedoes, and other explosives. In
a family-owned factory in Heleneborg, Sweden, he sought to develop a safe way to
handle nitroglycerin, after a factory explosion in 1864 killed his younger
brother and four other people. In 1867 Nobel achieved his goal; by using an
organic packing material to reduce the volatility of the nitroglycerin, he
produced what he called dynamite. He later produced ballistite, one of the first
smokeless powders. At the time of his death he controlled factories for the
manufacture of explosives in many parts of the world. His will provided that the
major portion of his $9 million estate be set up as a fund to establish yearly
prizes for merit in physics, chemistry, medicine and physiology, literature, and
world peace. (A prize in economics has been awarded since 1969.)
Searchable database of winners of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Physics and Medicine.
Experience the history of the Nobel laureates and the Nobel prizes, from Alfred Nobel to the present day.
Archive for all info pertaining to the illustrious prizes including that for literature. Provides a complete list of winners from this century.
This site maintains information about the winners of the Nobel Prize. Press releases and background information on the winners are included.
This site has a list of Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, physics, medicine, literature, peace and economics.
( Courtesy: Encarta )