The Real Lesson of the Nobel Peace Prize: Use your life wisely. And if you get the award, turn it down on principle.

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When his brother Ludvig died, one newspaper, under the mistaken impression that Alfred was the Nobel brother who had died, penned an obituary for him (eight years too early, as it later transpired), naming Alfred “the Merchant of Death,” before passing the less-than-flattering comment that he had made his fortune out of finding ways to kill more people faster. It is widely believed that this serendipitous mistake served as Alfred Nobel’s wake-up call to consider his ultimate legacy.

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