Brief History: The Nobel Peace Prize

John Bazemore / AP

The Nobel Peace Prize

After Alfred Nobel's death in 1896, his executors discovered that the inventor of dynamite had secretly set aside about 35 million Swedish kronor (about $225 million today) for the creation of five annual prizes to honor those who bestowed the "greatest benefit on mankind" in science, literature and diplomacy. On Oct. 9, President Barack Obama won the most coveted and controversial of them all: the Nobel Peace Prize.

The recipient, which Nobel instructed should be the person who has performed the "best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion...

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