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Alfred Nobel Quotes


Alfred Nobel
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Alfred Bernhard Nobel
  • Born: 21st October 1833, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Died: 10th December 1896, San Remo, Italy
  • Resting place: Norra Begravningsplatsen, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Alma mater: Jacobs Apologistic School
  • Occupation: Chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman and philanthropist
  • Infamous for: Inventing dynamite and gelignite
  • Remembered for: Being the founder and benefactor of the Nobel Prize institution
  • Nickname: The Merchant of Death and Europe’s richest vagabond
  • Trivia: His home called "Villa Nobel" in San Remo Italy together with his adjacent laboratory now functions as a museum open to the public
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"Contentment is the only real wealth"

Alfred Nobel

"My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant, whole armies can be utterly destroyed, they surely will abide by golden peace"

Alfred Nobel

"I would not leave anything to a man of action as he would be tempted to give up work; on the other hand, I would like to help dreamers as they find it difficult to get on in life"

Alfred Nobel

"The best excuse for the fallen ones is that Madame Justice herself is one of them"

Alfred Nobel

"A heart can no more be forced to love than a stomach can be forced to digest food by persuasion"

Alfred Nobel

"I wish all guns with their belongings and everything could be sent to hell, which is the proper place for their exhibition and use"

Alfred Nobel

"I am a misanthrope and yet utterly benevolent, have more than one screw loose yet am a super-idealist who digests philosophy more efficiently than food"

Alfred Nobel

"Lawyers have to make a living, and can only do so by inducing people to believe that a straight line is crooked"

Alfred Nobel

"Worry is the stomach's worst poison"

Alfred Nobel

"Second to agriculture, humbug is the biggest industry of our age"

Alfred Nobel

"Justice is to be found only in the imagination"

Alfred Nobel

"If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied"

Alfred Nobel

"It is not sufficient to be worthy of respect in order to be respected"

Alfred Nobel

"Hope is nature's veil for hiding truth's nakedness"

Alfred Nobel

"The truthful man is usually a liar"

Alfred Nobel

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Alfred Nobel Biography

Alfred Nobel was the polyglot Swedish businessman whose heart was given to the love of poetry but his head was turned by his fascinatiion with explosives. With Swedish as his mother tongue the family moved to St Petersburg when he was five years old where he quickly picked up Russian and later he used his intense interest in Voltaire to learn French and had his literary senses awoken by the translations of the English romantic poetry of Byron, Wordsworth and especially Shelley who was his favourite.

His father Immanuel Nobel, who knew the hardships of the world, dissuaded him to follow the literary arts in favour of his other passion for learning chemistry. It was here that the first of his 355 patents were to start flowing when he came up with a design for a gas meter in 1857. His family were already involved in the explosives industry through their factory manufacturing armaments for the Crimean War and it was this grounding in the fundamentals of explosives that Nobel was to make his break through by first inventing dynamite and then later gelignite.



In a twist of irony he was also a pacifist who hated war but it would appear the lure of financial gain took control and he sold his soul and his inventions to all interested warring party's. Away from the theatre of war his explosives were put to good use in the mining and quarrying industries and he amassed a fortune during his lifetime.

In 1888 a French newspaper mistakenly published his premature obituary in which they said: "The merchant of death is dead. Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday". Needless to say he was horrified at the report and it inspired him to create the Nobel Prizes as his legacy. Upon his actual demise in 1896 he bequeathed 94% of his fortune to establish the Nobel Prizes in the fields of Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine with the emphasis being on: "shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind".

It was a grand gesture with the prizes becoming a worldwide institution coveted by all who are nominated. It was quite possibly a truer reflection from the bottom of the heart of a pacifist and poet who tried to improve the world with his inventions, after all his initial inspiration was to make the unstable explosives of his day safer to handle by workers, he succeeded. He chose his words carefully although he was still good for a quick quip, so here is my compilation of 15 of the best Alfred Nobel quotes

Quotes About Alfred Nobel

The author Kenne Fant described him thus: "One of the most powerful men of his time, Nobel was viewed by some as the model of success and entrepreneurial drive"

Because of his constant moving around Europe his friend Victor Hugo playfully labelled him: "Europe’s richest vagabond"

The Stockholm businessman J.V. Smitt was delighted to say: "One of the most advantageous investments that this successful businessman had made"

Yet the Swedish priest Nathan Söderblom who performed his eulogy said: "He died without the warming hearth of home, without the hand of a son or a wife on his chilling brow"


Alfred Nobel image quote