Here is how Nobel Prize started

Nobel Prize

There is no gainsaying Nobel Prize is the most famous and prestigious award on the face of the earth. The fortune, fame and opportunity that come with winning Nobel Prize will serve anyone a lifetime.

Alfred B. Nobel (1833—1996), a Swedish chemist was an extraordinary inventor. He amassed bountiful wealth by inventing and producing explosives. Among other harmful explosives, Alfred invented and produced the dynamite—an explosive of mass destruction.

He made huge fortune from these explosives. For years, Alfred lived for himself and himself alone. He never took his time to reflect on his life. In 1988, an incident forced him to chew over his life, legacy and what he will be remembered for.

His brother, Ludvig Nobel died while visiting Cannes. A French newspaper mistook Alfred Nobel for Ludvig Nobel and published Alfred’s obituary instead of Ludvig.

The obituary titled, “The merchant of death is dead”. It partly reads, “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” Alfred was disappointed with the content of his obituary and became concerned with what he would be remembered.

Alfred Nobel

He sought for what he could do to redeem his image and leave a worthy legacy. In 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Alfred signed his last will and testament and set aside 94% of his total assets to establish the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without discrimination of nationality. He was able to improve his reputation with this singular it.


  1. To live effectively, you may need to read your obituary. You may need to have idea of what the world will remember you for.
  2. To leave a worthy legacy, like Alfred, you may need to edit your life and ways. Therefore, evaluate your life.
  3. A life that leaves no legacy is worthless even if it accumulate half the wealth on earth. Think about your life.

Of course if you find other lessons from this story, add it in the comment box below.





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