Nobel, a great Swedish inventor and industrialist, was a man of many
contrasts. He made a fortune, but he had a simple life. He never had a
family or a wife to love. He was a patriot of the homeland, but he died
in the foreign land. He invented dynamite to use for peaceful purposes
(in the road building), but he saw what dynamite was used as a weapon of
war. He felt that he could do nothing to change the situation. During
his life he avoided publicity.
Nobel was born on 21st October 1833 in Stockholm, but he moved to
Russia with his parents in 1842, where his father succeeded in
engineering industry. In 1859 some relatives returned to Sweden. Alfred
joined them in 1863 and started to research explosions in father’s
laboratory. He never went to school or university, but studied
privately, and by the time he was twenty he was a skillful chemist and
linguist, speaking Swedish, Russian, German, French and English. He
created 80 companies in 20 different countries.
Nobel never had set an aim to make money. In his youth he was
interested in literature and psychology. He was always generous to poor
people. His greatest wish was to see peace in the world. He left money
to give prizes for works in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology, Medicine,
Literature and Peace.