Alfred Nobel, Founder of Nobel Prize
Illustration Sabrina Brooks
Alfred Nobel was a Chemist, Inventor, Awesome Administrator and Social Reformer. He spoke six languages - his native Swedish, Russian, French, English, German and Italian. He had named one of his ships ‘Brahma’.
In a draft of Alfred Nobel’s will the last words were “the most worthy shall receive the prize … man or woman."
Andriette Nobel neé Ahlsell, Alfred's Mother. Image nobelprize.org.
In 1873, at the age of 40, wealthy Alfred Nobel moved to Paris. The French government harassed Nobel regarding his invention of ballistite forcing him to move out of Paris.
In 1891 when Alfred Nobel left Paris and moved to San Remo, Italy. He took with him only a few of his belongings which included the above portrait of his mother Andriette Nobel.
Nobel was very much attached to his mother and visited her on her birthday.
Once Alfred Nobel sent money to his mother. She distributed the money among widows who were very happy.
Alfred Nobel’s lab assistant, chemical engineer Ragnar Sohlman’s Norwegian wife attended Nobel’s official meetings. Ragnar Sohlman, along with engineer Rudolf Lilljequist, was also the executor of Nobel’s will. Sohlman was 26 yrs. younger to Alfred Nobel.
If not for Ragnar Sohlman [1870-1948], Nobel’s will would not have materialized. It would have been a piece of paper in a museum. Nobel's assets were located in several countries. Sohlman and Lilljequist moved the assets to Sweden. French authorities would possibly obstruct the assets being taken out of France. From the banks in Paris, on a horse drawn carriage, they collected the shares, bonds and other documents. In crates, they shipped the documents by rail to Sweden as registered luggage!
Author of book, 'The legacy of Alfred Nobel: the story behind the Nobel prizes.' This book is written with great love and respect for his boss.
Bertha von Suttner. Nobel Peace Laureate, 1905
Bertha von Suttner was Alfred Nobel's good friend. Her Peace Activities undoubtedly influenced Alfred Nobel to establish a prize for peace along with the prizes for science and literature. "Inform me, convince me, and then I will do something great for the movement." Alfred Nobel said to Bertha von Suttner.
More info regarding Alfred Nobel
Book simultaniously in BOTH English and Azerbaijani
Title: Dedicated to 130th anniversary of Nobel Brothers' activity
in Azerbaijan 1879-2009.
Foreward: Thomas Tydén, Chairman of the Nobel Family Society.
Publisher: Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Authors: Azada Huseynova, Naida Abbasova, Amina Melikova.
Very interesting with innumerable photos.
Please remember to scroll down empty spaces in PDF.
'Innovations of the past as guidelines for the future.
For most people the name Nobel is associated with the Nobel Prize. But for us in the family the name has greater associations that take us to Azerbaijan, Russia and many other countries. When the donator of the Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel, died, a fair share of his fortune was not from his dynamite companies; It came from one of the world's largest oil companies at that time, The Nobel Brothers Petroleum Production Company.' - Thomas Tydén, Chairman of the Nobel Family Society.
James Fraser Stoddart, Chemistry Nobelist, 2016
James Fraser Stoddart. Image Jim Prisching Photography, Wiki
James Fraser Stoddart stated that without his wife Norma, being awarded the Nobel Prize was "bittersweet". She had passed away of breast cancer 12 years earlier. He thanked her publicly at a news conference.
Randy Schekman, Physiology or Medicine Nobelist, 2013
Randy Schekman. Image eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd., Wiki
Randy Schekman planned to donate his Nobel Prize money of $400,000 to create an endowment for the ‘Esther and Wendy Schekman Chair in Basic Cancer Biology at UC Berkeley’. Esther and Wendy were his mother and sister who had passed away due to cancer.
Paul Greengard, Physiology or Medicine Nobelist, 2000
Paul Greengard. Image NIDA, Wiki
Paul Greengard decided to donate the entire $400,000 Nobel Prize cash award to establish a new award. The motive behind creating The Pearl Meister Greengard Prize was an initial attempt at eroding the bias against women scientists. He wanted to promote women’s commendable scientific discoveries. The award would be accompanied with $50,000. The award is named after Greengard’s mother who died during childbirth when he was born. Since 2004 the Rockefeller University which administers the award has been giving it annually.
Gunter Blobel, Physiology or Medicine Nobelist, 1999
Gunter Blobel. Image Michel Ravassard, Wiki
Gunter Blobel was a German who had immigrated to the US. He had witnessed the bombing of Dresden in 1945. In an air raid, his 19-year-old beautiful eldest sister Ruth, was killed in a train in which she had been travelling.
Gunter Blobel was awarded approximately $1 million as the Nobel Prize. He transferred almost the entire amount to an account in Dresden, Germany. Initially, he donated several thousand dollars to restore an old Baroque church in Italy. The rest of the money was allocated to preserving and restoring Dresden, including the construction of a cathedral and a new synagogue. He also donated to an independent American group named Friends of Dresden. The group supported restoration of Dresden’s artistic legacy.
Gunter Blobel wrote, "It was one of the great pleasures of my life to donate the entire sum of the Nobel Prize, in memory of my sister Ruth Blobel, to the restoration of Dresden."
Karl Landsteiner, Physiology or Medicine Nobelist, 1930
Karl Landsteiner. Image nobelprize.org
Karl Landsteiner was a physician who was born in Vienna on June 14, 1868. His attorney father, Leopold Landsteiner, a well-known journalist and newspaper publisher, died when Karl was six years old. Karl was raised by his mother, Fanny Hess. He was so much devoted to her that her death mask hung on his wall until his death.
George Bernard Shaw, Literature Nobelist, 1925
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw wrote the play ‘Pygmalion’ on which the film ‘My Fair Lady’ was based. In the play, Eliza ends up with the one who loves her, Charles. In the film, reluctantly, Shaw agreed to Eliza ending up with Higgins.