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Alfred Nobel biography

Alfred Nobel biography



Alfred Nobel was on born October 21, 1833, in Stockholm, Sweden. As a young man, he worked at father's arms factory. Intellectually curious, he went on to experiment with chemistry and explosives. In 1864, a deadly explosion killed his younger brother. Deeply affected, Nobel developed a safer explosive—dynamite. Nobel used his vast fortunes to establish the Nobel Prizes.

Early Life
Career Highlights
Final Days
Early Life

Alfred Berhard Nobel was born on October 21, 1833, in Stockholm, Sweden, the fourth of Immanuel and Caroline Nobel’s eight children. Alfred was often sickly as a child but he was always lively and curiosity about the world around him. Albeit a skilled engineer and ready inventor, Alfred’s father struggled to set up a profitable business in Sweden. When Alfred was 4, his father moved St. Petersburg, Russia to take a job manufacturing explosives. The family followed him in 1842.
Career Highlights

Alfred's newly affluent parents sent him to private tutors in Russia, and he quickly master chemistry and became fluent in English, French, German, and Russian, and Swedish. Alfred left Russia at the age of 18 and spent year in Paris studying chemistry and moved to the United States. After five years, he returned to Russia and began working in his father's factory making military equipment for the Crimean War.

In 1859, at the war's end, the company went bankrupt. The family moved back to Sweden and Alfred soon began experimenting with explosives. In 1864, when Alfred was 29, a huge explosion in the family's Swedish factory killed five people, including Alfred's younger brother Emil. Dramatically affected by the event, Nobel set out to develop a safer explosive.

In 1867, he patented a mixture of nitroglycerin and an absorbent substance, producing what he named "Dynamite." In 1888, Alfred's brother Ludvig died while in France. A French newspaper erroneously published Alfred's obituary instead of Ludvig. The paper condemned Alfred for his invention of dynamite. Provoked by the event and disappointed with how he felt he might be remembered, Nobel set aside a bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes to honor men and women for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and for work in peace.
Final Days

He died of a stroke on December 10, 1896, in Sanremo, Italy. After taxes and bequests to individuals, Nobel gave 31,225,000 Swedish kronor (equivalent to 250 million US dollars in 2008) to fund the prizes. Although his business interests required him to travel almost constantly, he remained a lonely recluse who was prone to fits of depression. Novel never married but biographers note three loves. Countess Bertha Kinsky corresponded with him until his death in 1896, and it is believed that she was a major influence in his decision to include a peace prize among those provided in his will.

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