Alfred Bernhard Nobel, 1833 - 1896

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Born: 21 October 1833, Stockholm, Sweden
Died: 10 December 1896, Sanremo, Italy

Nobel's father Immanuel was the inventor of plywood. The family moved to Saint Petersburg in 1842 where Immanuel manufactured torpedos for the czarist navy. Nobel studied chemistry there and, at age 18, began four years study of chemistry in the US. On returning to Sweden he developed several explosives based on nitroglycerine, such as dynamite and gelignite and turned his steel mills into major weapons plants. Horrified to learn that he was regarded as the "Merchant of Death", his will endowed a foundation to grant prizes to encourage progress in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and the pursuit of peace. Nobel never married, although he had three durable relationships, the last of which was with a Viennese flower girl who he addressed as "Madame Sofie Nobel" in his letters.

Biography from Wikipedia and Nobel Foundation

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