December 10 is National Nobel Prize Day, recognizing the legacy of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, whose will established the Nobel Prize. Nobel was the inventor of dynamite. After reading his own premature obituary, proclaiming that “the merchant of death is dead,” he established the prizes to award those whose work benefits humanity.
The first Nobel Prizes were awarded on December 10, 1901 in six categories: Chemistry, Peace, Physics, Medicine, Economics and Literature.
The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to an author’s body of work.
• It has been awarded to 102 men, and 16 women.
• The youngest Nobel Laureate was Rudyard Kipling, who was 44 when he won in 1907.
• The oldest Nobel Laureate was 88-year-old Doris Lessing, who won in 2007.
• Nobel Laureates receive a gold medal, a diploma/citation, and a cash prize currently worth about $1.1 million.
• Notable winners include Bob Dylan (2016), Toni Morrison (1993), Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1982), John Steinbeck (1962), Ernest Hemingway (1954), Winston Churchill (1953) and T.S. Eliot (1948)