Profile of the Day: Alfred Nobel

Posted October 21, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment

Alfred Nobel

Do you have Swedish connections? 181 years ago today, Swedish chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden.

The fourth son of Immanuel Nobel, an inventor and engineer, and Karolina Andriette Ahlsell, Alfred was the one of eight children born to the couple. Only he and his three brothers survived past childhood. His third great grandfather, Olof Rudbeck, was a Swedish scientist and writer. Alfred developed an interest in technology through his family, especially his father, and had a particular interest in explosives.

After a tragic explosion in his father’s arms factory took the life of his younger brother, Emil, Alfred sought to develop a safer explosive. In 1867, Alfred invented dynamite, a substance that was easier and safer to handle than the more unstable nitroglycerin. His invention would make him a very wealthy man.

When Alfred’s brother Ludvig died in 1888, a French newspaper erroneously published Alfred’s obituary, which condemned him for his invention of dynamite and for becoming rich “by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before.” Disappointed in what he read, Alfred became concerned with how he would be remembered. In his last will and testament, Alfred set aside a bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, a series of awards for those who’s achievements provide the greatest benefit to mankind. Between 1901 and 2014, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 567 times, with a total of 889 Nobel Laureates.

Alfred Nobel is connected to nearly 80 million people in Geni’s World Family Tree. How are you related?


View Alfred Nobel’s Geni Profile


Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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