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THE STORY OF THE NOBEL PRIZE


Quiz time, folks--who invented dynamite? Do I hear the answer: Alfred Nobel! In fact in 1867, Nobel received U.S. patent number 78317 for his dynamic invention. That this explosive instead of being used peacefully for blasting the rocks during mining operations (as was originally nobly intended by Nobel) ending up as a destructive weapon used for destroying properties, limb and life was not this brilliant scientist’s fault at all. Yet all-too-surreal story behind the origin of Nobel prize would have us believe so!


BOOM...in 1888, Alfred had a dubious distinction of reading his own unflattering obituary! When Alfred's brother Ludvig died, a French newspaper mistakenly ran an obituary for Alfred, which called him the "merchant of death." It went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday." This horrified Alfred. Not wanting to go down in history with such a horrible epitaph, Nobel created a will that soon shocked his relatives and led to establishment of the now famous Nobel Norwegian Committee which awards Nobel Prize "to all during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."


Nobel's last will left approximately 94 percent of his worth to the establishment of five prizes in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. The fact that Nobel prize has been awarded for several outstanding achievements which have made this strife-torn, ailments-infested World "a better place to live in" and also the fact that it continues to inspire several to put their best foot forward in various worthy pursuits stands as a shining testimony to a man who aspired to "live nobly even after his death" by recognizing and rewarding the noble deeds of his fellowmen.

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