Through the funding of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the world’s most renowned prize series was born; historically, Nobel Prizes have been awarded to individuals who confer “the greatest benefit on mankind.”
Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, novelist and painter best known for being the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 with his book Gitanjali, Song Offerings. He was highly influential in introducing Indian culture to the West and is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of modern India. He was hailed by W.B Yeats and André Gide
Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in Mveso, Transkei, South Africa. Becoming actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, nonviolent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. In 1993, Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the country’s apartheid system. In 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president. In 2009, Mandela’s birthday (July 18) was declared “Mandela Day” to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader’s legacy. Mandela died at his home in Johannesburg on December 5, 2013, at age 95.
Alexander Fleming was born in Ayrshire,Scotland, on August 6, 1881, and studied medicine, serving as a physician during World War I. Through research and experimentation, Fleming discovered a bacteria-destroying mold which he would call penicillin in 1928, paving the way for the use of antibiotics in modern healthcare. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1945 and died on March 11, 1955.
Born Maria Sklodowska on November 7, 1867, in Warsaw, Poland, Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only woman to win the award in two different fields (physics and chemistry).
Curie’s efforts, with her husband Pierre Curie, led to the discovery of polonium and radium and, after Pierre’s death, the development of X-rays. She died on July 4, 1934.
Born on July 21, 1899, in Cicero (now in Oak Park), Illinois, Ernest Hemingway served in World War I and worked in journalism before publishing his story collection In Our Time. He was renowned for novels like The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea, which won the 1953 Pulitzer. In 1954, Hemingway won the Nobel Prize. He committed suicide on July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho.
Born in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany in 1879, Albert Einstein developed the special and general theories of relativity. In 1921, he won the Nobel Prize for physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.
Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century. He died on April 18, 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey.
Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30, 1865, in Bombay, India. He was educated in England but returned to India in 1882. In 1892, Kipling married Caroline Balestier and settled in Brattleboro, Vermont where he wrote The Jungle Book (1894) and “Gunga Din.” Eventually becoming the highest paid writer in the world, Kipling was recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. He died in 1936.
Baptized on August 27, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, Mother Teresa taught in India for 17 years before she experienced her 1946 “call within a call” to devote herself to caring for the sick and poor.
Her order established a hospice; centers for the blind, aged, and disabled; and a leper colony. She was summoned to Rome in 1968, and in 1979 received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work.
9.Marthin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among many efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, “I Have a Dream.”
Born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Obama is the 44th and current president of the United States. He was a civil-rights lawyer and teacher before pursuing a political career. He was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996, serving from 1997 to 2004. He was elected to the U.S. presidency in 2008, and won re-election in 2012 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. President Obama continues to enact policy changes in response to the issues of health care and economic crisis.