In 1888, a French newspaper printed an obituary of Alfred Nobel. The newspaper wrote, “The merchant of death is dead.” The newspaper also wrote, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday."
It was a horrible thing to say about Alfred Nobel, especially since he wasn’t dead yet. The newspaper was mistaken. It was Alfred’s brother that had died. Perhaps, this obituary caused Alfred Nobel to wonder what people would think of him after he died.
At any rate, there was some truth to that description of Alfred Nobel. His father owned a torpedo factory. Later, Alfred owned his own weapons company. And, most importantly, he invented dynamite in 1867.
Dynamite made Alfred rich. To be fair to Alfred, dynamite is used in engineering projects all over the world and was never used in war during his lifetime. When he died in 1896, his fortune was worth about 100 million dollars in today’s money. He left the bulk of his fortune to be used for the Nobel Prizes.
The Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is to be given to the person who worked to bring peace among nations and reduce or abolish armies throughout the world.
Of the five Nobel Prizes awarded every year, perhaps, the most controversial prize is the Nobel Peace Prize. Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin were nominated (though they didn’t win).
Gandhi was nominated five times, but he was assassinated in 1948 before he could be awarded the prize. Unfortunately, the Nobel Peace Prize can only be awarded to a living person.
In the year he was assassinated, it was rumored that he was going to be chosen for the award. Instead, that year the Nobel Committee did not give a Nobel Peace Prize because they said there was "there was no suitable living candidate".
Unlike the other Nobel prizes, The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway.
(1) What year did a French newspaper write an obituary of Alfred Nobel?
(2) What did the French newspaper call Alfred?
(3) According to the newspaper, how did Alfred become rich?
(4) Who really died?
(5) What factory did Alfred’s father own?
(6) What factory did Alfred own later on in his life?
(7) What did he invent?
(8) What is dynamite used for?
(9) Was dynamite used for war before Alfred died?
(10) How big was his fortune?
The Nobel Peace Prize
(1) What award does the article talk about?
(2) Who is the Nobel Peace Prize to be given to?
(3) What controversial people were nominated for the award?
(4) How many times was Gandhi nominated?
(5) What happened to Gandhi in 1948?
(6) Who can receive the Nobel Peace Prize?
(7) Who received the award in 1948?
(8) Why did the Nobel Committee not make an award?
(9) Where is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded?
The Nobel Prize
When Alfred Nobel died in 1896, he left 94% of his fortune to be given as an award. The award was to be given to those people who gave ‘the greatest benefit’ to mankind during the preceding year.
The award was to be given in five different categories: chemistry, physics, medicine, literature, and peace. The Nobel Prize is probably the most important prize in the world in the categories.
The winner is chosen from among thousands of nominations. The winners are notified in October of each year. Except for the Nobel Peace Prize, the awards are presented on December 10th in Sweden by the King of Sweden.
It is possible to win the award more than once. Marie Curie, for example, one the award twice: once for the discovery of radioactivity and once for the isolation of radium. Her husband, her daughter, and her son-in-law also won the award once.
The youngest person to win a prize was 25 years old. The oldest person to win a prize was 90 years old.
The Nobel Prize
(1) When did Alfred Nobel die?
(2) How much of his fortune did he leave for the award?
(3) Who was the award to be given to?
(4) What are the categories?
(5) When are the winners notified?
(6) When is the winners’ ceremony held?
(7) Who presents the awards?
(8) Who does the article mention that won the award twice?
(9) What did she win the awards for?
(10) Who else in Marie Curie’s family won the award?
(11) How old was the youngest winner?
(12) How old was the oldest winner?