Today on this date the first Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Sully Prudhomme a poet and essayist from France. Sully started as an engineer but changed his career to Philosophy and then to his love...Poetry.
In 1865, he published his first volume of poetry, "Stances et Poèmes" (Stanzas and Poems). This work opened the door for him. He soon took a position writing for the journal, "The Parnasse." The journal continued to be published until 1876 and during this time Sully published three more books of poetry.
Sully Prudhomme unfortunately developed a debilitating disease causing some paralysis, but this did not keep him from continuing to follow his passion of writing. In 1881 Sully was elected into the French Academy and in 1888 he published what was to be his last book of poetry.
Sully Prudhomme was awarded his Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901. The Nobel foundation stated, "in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect." Prudhomme published no more poetry although he still wrote. He died in 1907.
Information from Wikipedia and The Nobel Prize site.