18.11.

1926: Why did George Bernard Shaw Refuse the Money from the Nobel Prize?

1926: Why did George Bernard Shaw Refuse the Money from the Nobel Prize?
Photo Credit To http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:George_Bernard_Shaw_notebook.jpg

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  • historical event: Shaw refused the money from the award, which would today be worth as much as half a million dollars. It was a question of his principles, but he did suggest what the Nobel committee should do with that money.

On this day Irish writer and playwright George Bernard Shaw refused to accept money from the Nobel Prize. The award amounted to 116.960 kronor (which today would be worth about half a million U.S. dollars). Shaw initially wanted to refuse the Nobel Prize in general, in line with his principle of not receiving public recognition, but his wife convinced him to receive the award. She assured him with the argument that it would be in recognition of his Irish homeland. He, however, still refused the monetary award. He demanded that it be used for the translation of Swedish books to English. It is interesting that George Bernard Shaw is the only person who received both the Nobel Prize and an Oscar (for collaboration on the film Pygmalion, which was based on his play).

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