Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been honoring men and women from all corners of the globe for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and for work in peace. The foundations for the prize were laid in 1895 when Alfred Nobel wrote his last will, leaving much of his wealth to the establishment of the Nobel Prize. But who was Alfred Nobel? Articles, photographs, a slide show and poetry written by Nobel himself are presented here to give a glimpse of a man whose varied interests are reflected in the prize he established.
Known for: The inventor of dynamite and holder of 355 patents.
Born: 21 October 1833.
Died: 10 December 1896.
Languages: Spoke five languages fluently at the age of 17.
Professions: Swedish chemist, inventor, engineer, entrepreneur, business man, author and pacifist.
Fortune: In his will he left 31 million SEK (today about 265 million dollar) to fund the prizes.
When Alfred was five years old his father moved to St. Petersburg in Russia. Alfred joined him a few years later.Early years in St. Petersburg
On 21 October 1833 a baby boy was born in Stockholm, Sweden, who was to become the founder of the Nobel Prize.Easy-to-read version of Alfred Nobel's life
Alfred Nobel was attracted to philosophical issues and read philosophical works with interest.Alfred Nobel - the philosopher
An entirely new industry grew up, based on Alfred Nobel's patents and with Alfred as the initiator.Dynamite companies
Alfred Nobel had acquired 355 patents worldwide when he died in 1896.See a list of all patents
The name Nobel was connected with explosives, and certainly not with questions related to peace.Alfred Nobel's thoughts about war and peace
How much do you know about the founder of the Nobel Prize?Try the quiz
In his will of November 27, 1895 signed in Paris, Alfred Nobel specified that the bulk of his fortune should be divided into five parts and to be used for Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace to "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind."The content in Alfred Nobel's handwritten will
When the will was settled, the task of achieving unity among all the affected parties on how to put its provisions into practice remained.Read more
The awarding of the Nobel Prizes is based on a system of nominations, handled by four prize-awarding institutions
After his death Alfred Nobel left a private library of over 1500 volumes, mostly fiction in the original language, works by the great writers of the 19th century, but also the classics and works by philosophers, theologians, historians and other scientists.Complete lists of Alfred Nobel's private library
Alfred Nobel was an enthusiastic reader and wrote his own dramatic works and poems.Read an article about Alfred Nobel's writing skills
Here you can find a selection of publications about the work and life of Alfred Nobel.See the list of books