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6 people who rejected the Nobel Prize



The Nobel prize, which was started in 1901 as per the will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel has now become a tradition. More than a prize, a reward, it has turned into a legacy of ever lasting remembrance and respect. However, there are a few who are remembered for refusing the reward.

    • 1. Jean Paul SartreJean Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1964 and declined it because he did not accept any official honor for his work. Refusing the Nobel prize he famously said ‘a writer must refuse, therefore, to allow himself to be transformed into an institution’.
    • 2. Le duc ThoAfter Sartre, he is the only person who willingly refused the Prize. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Henry A. Kissinger for negotiating the Vietnam peace treaty. However, he declined the prize stating the conditions of Vietnam at that time. Toc with Sartre are th only eople who didn’t accept the Prize after rejecting it once.
    • 3. Richard KhunRichard Khun was an Austrian-German bio-chemist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938 for his work on carotenoids and vitamins. He was forced to refuse the Laureateship by the authorities of his country but got his diploma and medal the following year(1939).
    • 4. Adolf ButenandtAdolf Butenandt, president of the Max Planck Society was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Leopold Ruzicka for his work on sex hormones. Ruzicka accepted his share of Prize in 1939 for his work on polymethylenes and higher terpenes. Butenandt was forced to reject it due to government policy but accepted it after second world war in 1949.
    • 5. Gerhard DomagkGerhard Domagk, a German is credited with the discovery of first commercially available antibiotic. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1939 for the same. He too like Adolf Butenandt and Le duc Tho was forced to decline his prize by the Nazi government, which ruled Germany at that time. like the former two, he also accepted the prize later.
    • 6. Boris PasternakBoris Pasternak is the only Laureate in the History who accepted the Noble laureateship and later refused it. He was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature in 1958 for his achievements in lyrical poetry. He was later forced to refuse the laureateship by Soviet Union , the government of his native country, Russia.

These people have not only made their name in history by being the awardee of the Nobel Prize but also by showing extraoinary strength in rejecting such an honour. They did true justice to the phrase, ‘we live in deeds, not in years’

6 people who rejected the Nobel Prize
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