ALFRED NOBEL (A Man of Contrasts)

1. Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833-1896), Swedish inventor and philanthropist was a man of many contrasts. He was a son of a bankrupt, but became a millionaire, a scientist with a love to literature. He made a large fortune but lived a simple life. He was cheerful in company and often sad in private. A lover of mankind he never had a wife or family to love him, a patriotic son of his native land, he died alone on foreign soil. He discovered a new explosive, dynamite, to improve the peaceful industries of mining and road building, but saw it used as a weapon of war to kill his fellow men.

2. He was born in Stockholm but moved to Russia with his parents, where his father made a strong position in engineering industry. He made a lot of money for his invention of landmine but later went bankrupt. Alfred came to Sweden in 1863 and stated his own study of explosives. He had never been to school or university but he studied privately. Like his father, Alfred was imaginative and inventive, but he had better luck in business and showed more financial sense.

3. He was quick to see possibilities for his scientific inventions and built up over 80 companies in 20 different countries. His greatness lay in his outstanding ability to combine the qualities of an original scientist with those of a forward-looking industrialist.

4. But Nobel's main concern was never making money or even making scientific discoveries. He was always searching for a meaning of life. He cared deeply about the whole of mankind. His greatest wish was to see an end to wars and he spent much time and money for this cause until his death in Italy in 1896.

5. His inventions made him a very wealthy man. He created the famous Nobel Foundation, the yearly interest in which is distributed in the form of prizes to leading personalities from the whole world in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and the promotion of peace and understanding between the nations. The Nobel prize, distributed every year on the anniversary of Nobel's death, the 10th of December has made his name famous, all over the world. So, the man who felt he should have died at birth, is remembered and respected long after his death.

6. The prizes were first awarded in 1901.They are given in Stockholm Concert Hall in the presence of a distinguished audience including the scientific elite of the world and the Swedish royal family.

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Where are Nobel Prizes given to leading personalities of the world?

1. in the International Centre of science and culture.

2. in Stockholm Concert Hall in the presence of a distinguished audience including scientists and the Swedish royal family.

3. in any country of the world.


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