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American nobel prize winners

INTRODUCTION

The United States has won the most Nobel prizes. Most Nobel prizes are for high level scientific research and it's awarded by a western country so it's to be expected that by far the largest of the western developed countries, the USA, has the most Nobel prizes. This page looks at a more detailed breakdown of the characteristics of US Nobel prize winners. 

Charts

1. Distribution By Award of US Born Nobel Prize Winners

2. US Born Nobel Prize Winners by Region of Birth and Award Category

3. States with Most Nobel Prize Winners

4. Cities with Most Nobel Prize Winners

Data Table

5. Award, City/Town, State and Region of Birth of US Born Nobel Prize Winners

Like other countries with a large number of Nobel prizes, the majority of American Nobel prize winners are for the science subjects. Notable American Nobel winning scientists include Richard Feynman for Physics, James Watson for Physiology and Medicine and Linus Pauling for Chemistry. The latter also won the Nobel peace prize. America has notably few Nobel prize winners for Literature. Only 3% of it's Nobel prizes have been for literature, mostly recently musician Bob Dylan for his musical lyrics. 7% have been for peace including Martin Luther King who won the award in 1964 for his work in the civil rights campaign and Teddy Roosevelt who was the first American to win a Nobel prize in any field. 17% have been for Economics including John Forbes Nash Jr whose work on Game Theory earned him the award in 1994. 

Martin Luther King won the Nobel peace prize in 1964 for his work in the civil rights movement.

The Northeast has produced by far the largest number of Nobel prize winners compared to other regions. The Northeast is the location of America's 8 prestigious Ivy League Universities including Harvard. As such, it's unsurprising that it's most successful scientific minds come from this region. The south, the poorest and least developed region of the USA, has the fewest. The western region has the same number as the south although it has been less populated than other regions for much of the 20th century. A substantial proportion of American Nobel prize winners come from Jewish backgrounds, being primarily from the Northeast especially New York. 

Linus Pauling is the only person to have been awarded two unshared Nobel prizes, for chemistry in 1954 and for peace in 1962. 

New York is by far the most successful state in producing Nobel prize winners with nearly 3 times the number of the 2nd state. A large proportion of Jewish and born in New York City. Massachusetts, a relatively small state, notable has 22 Nobel Prize winners born in the state. The largest state in America, California, is in 4th with 17. California had quite a small population at the beginning of the 20th century which explains is relatively low place relative to current population size. The state is home to many of America's top Universities such as Stanford and Caltech. 

Bob Dylan, from New York City, won the Nobel prize for literature.

Among cities, New York City has by far been the most frequent birthplace of American born Nobel prize winners. Even after adjusting for population, it's still the most successful of the major US cities in this regard. As mentioned above, a big part of the reason for this is the large Jewish community in New York City. 

Theodore Roosevelt, the first American Nobel prize winner and President of the United States, was born in Manhattan in New York City. 

DATA TABLE
5. Award, City/Town, State and Region of Birth of US Born Nobel Prize Winners
Name
Award
Year
City/town of birth
State of birth
Theodore Roosevelt
Peace
1906
New York City
New York
Elihu Root
Peace
1912
Clinton
New York
Theodore W. Richards
Chemistry
1914
Germantown
Pennsylvania
Woodrow Wilson
Peace
1919
Staunton
Virginia
Robert A. Millikan
Physics
1923
Morrison
Illinois
Charles G. Dawes
Peace
1925
Marietta
Ohio
Arthur H. Compton
Physics
1927
Wooster
Ohio
Frank B. Kellogg
Peace
1929
Potsdam
New York
Sinclair Lewis
Literature
1930
Sauk Centre
Minnesota
Jane Addams
Peace
1931
Cedarville
Illinois
Nicholas M. Butler
Peace
1931
Elizabeth
New Jersey
Irving Langmuir
Chemistry
1932
New York City
New York
Thomas H. Morgan
Physiology or Medicine
1933
Lexington
Kentucky
Harold C. Urey
Chemistry
1934
Walkerton
Indiana
William P. Murphy
Physiology or Medicine
1934
Stoughton
Wisconsin
George R. Minot
Physiology or Medicine
1934
Boston
Massachusetts
George H. Whipple
Physiology or Medicine
1934
Ashland
New Hampshire
Eugene O'Neill
Literature
1936
New York City
New York
Carl Anderson
Physics
1936
New York City
New York
Clinton Davisson
Physics
1937
Bloomington
Illinois
Pearl S. Buck
Literature
1938
Hillsboro
West Virginia
Ernest Lawrence
Physics
1939
Canton
South Dakota
Edward A. Doisy
Physiology or Medicine
1943
Hume
Illinois
Herbert S. Gasser
Physiology or Medicine
1944
Platteville
Wisconsin
Joseph Erlanger
Physiology or Medicine
1944
San Francisco
California
Cordell Hull
Peace
1945
Olympus
Tennessee
Wendell M. Stanley
Chemistry
1946
Ridgeville
Indiana
James B. Sumner
Chemistry
1946
Canton
Massachusetts
John H. Northrop
Chemistry
1946
Yonkers
New York
Emily G. Balch
Peace
1946
Boston
Massachusetts
Percy W. Bridgman
Physics
1946
Cambridge
Massachusetts
Hermann J. Muller
Physiology or Medicine
1946
New York City
New York
John R. Mott
Peace
1946
null
null
American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers)
Peace
1947
null
null
T. S. Eliot*
Literature
1948
St Louis
Missouri
William Faulkner
Literature
1949
New Albany
Mississippi
Ralph J. Bunche
Peace
1950
Detroit
Michigan
Philip S. Hench
Physiology or Medicine
1950
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
Edward C. Kendall
Physiology or Medicine
1950
South Norwalk
Connecticut
Glenn Theodore Seaborg
Chemistry
1951
Ishpeming
Michigan
Edwin M. McMillan
Chemistry
1951
Redondo Beach
California
E. M. Purcell
Physics
1952
Taylorville
Illinois
George C. Marshall
Peace
1953
Uniontown
Pennsylvania
Ernest Hemingway
Literature
1954
Oak Park
Illinois
Thomas H. Weller
Physiology or Medicine
1954
Ann Arbor
Michigan
John F. Enders
Physiology or Medicine
1954
West Hartford
Connecticut
Frederick C. Robbins
Physiology or Medicine
1954
Auburn
Alabama
Linus C. Pauling
Chemistry
1954
Portland
Oregon
Vincent du Vigneaud
Chemistry
1955
Chicago
Illinois
Willis E. Lamb
Physics
1955
Los Angeles
California
John Bardeen
Physics
1956
Madison
Wisconsin
Dickinson W. Richards
Physiology or Medicine
1956
Orange
New Jersey
William B. Shockley
Physics
1956
null
null
George Beadle
Physiology or Medicine
1958
Wahoo
Nebraska
Joshua Lederberg
Physiology or Medicine
1958
Montclair
New Jersey
Edward Tatum
Physiology or Medicine
1958
Boulder
Colorado
Arthur Kornberg
Physiology or Medicine
1959
New York City
New York
Owen Chamberlain
Physics
1959
San Francisco
California
Donald A. Glaser
Physics
1960
Cleveland
Ohio
Willard F. Libby
Chemistry
1960
Grand Valley
Colorado
Melvin Calvin
Chemistry
1961
St Paul
Minnesota
Robert Hofstadter
Physics
1961
Stanford
California
James D. Watson
Physiology or Medicine
1962
Chicago
Illinois
John Steinbeck
Literature
1962
Salinas
California
Linus C. Pauling
Peace
1962
Portland
Oregon
Martin Luther King Jr.
Peace
1964
Atlanta
Georgia
Charles H. Townes
Physics
1964
Greenville
South Carolina
Robert B. Woodward
Chemistry
1965
Boston
Massachusetts
Richard P. Feynman
Physics
1965
New York City
New York
Julian Schwinger
Physics
1965
New York City
New York
Robert S. Mulliken
Chemistry
1966
Newburyport
Massachusetts
Francis Peyton Rous
Physiology or Medicine
1966
Baltimore
Maryland
Haldan Keffer Hartline
Physiology or Medicine
1967
Bloomsburg
Pennsylvania
George Wald
Physiology or Medicine
1967
New York City
New York
Robert W. Holley
Physiology or Medicine
1968
Urbana
Illinois
Marshall Warren Nirenberg
Physiology or Medicine
1968
New York City
New York
Luis Alvarez
Physics
1968
San Francisco
California
Alfred Hershey
Physiology or Medicine
1969
Owosso
Michigan
Murray Gell-Mann
Physics
1969
New York City
New York
Paul A. Samuelson
Economics
1970
Gary
Indiana
Norman Borlaug
Peace
1970
Cresco
Iowa
Julius Axelrod
Physiology or Medicine
1970
New York City
New York
Earl W. Sutherland Jr.
Physiology or Medicine
1971
Burlingame
Kansas
Stanford Moore
Chemistry
1972
Chicago
Illinois
John Bardeen
Physics
1972
Madison
Wisconsin
Robert Schrieffer
Physics
1972
Oak Park
Illinois
Christian Anfinsen
Chemistry
1972
Monessen
Pennsylvania
William H. Stein
Chemistry
1972
New York City
New York
Kenneth J. Arrow
Economics
1972
New York City
New York
Leon N. Cooper
Physics
1972
New York City
New York
Gerald Edelman
Physiology or Medicine
1972
New York City
New York
Paul J. Flory
Chemistry
1974
Sterling
Illinois
Ben Roy Mottelson*
Physics
1975
Chicago
Illinois
James Rainwater
Physics
1975
Council
Idaho
David Baltimore
Physiology or Medicine
1975
New York City
New York
Howard Martin Temin
Physiology or Medicine
1975
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
William Lipscomb
Chemistry
1976
Cleveland
Ohio
Samuel C. C. Ting
Physics
1976
Ann Arbor
Michigan
Milton Friedman
Economics
1976
New York City
New York
Burton Richter
Physics
1976
New York City
New York
Baruch S. Blumberg
Physiology or Medicine
1976
New York City
New York
Daniel Carleton Gajdusek
Physiology or Medicine
1976
Yonkers
New York
Philip Anderson
Physics
1977
Indianapolis
Indiana
John H. van Vleck
Physics
1977
Middletown
Connecticut
Rosalyn Yalow
Physiology or Medicine
1977
New York City
New York
Herbert A. Simon
Economics
1978
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
Hamilton O. Smith
Physiology or Medicine
1978
New York City
New York
Robert Woodrow Wilson
Physics
1978
Houston
Texas
Daniel Nathans
Physiology or Medicine
1978
Wilmington
Delaware
Theodore Schultz
Economics
1979
Arlington
South Dakota
Steven Weinberg
Physics
1979
New York City
New York
Sheldon Glashow
Physics
1979
New York City
New York
Lawrence R. Klein
Economics
1980
Omaha
Nebraska
James Cronin
Physics
1980
Chicago
Illinois
Val Fitch
Physics
1980
Merriman
Nebraska
Walter Gilbert
Chemistry
1980
Boston
Massachusetts
Paul Berg
Chemistry
1980
New York City
New York
George D. Snell
Physiology or Medicine
1980
Bradford
Massachusetts
James Tobin
Economics
1981
Champaign
Illinois
Arthur L. Schawlow
Physics
1981
Mount Vernon
New York
Roger W. Sperry
Physiology or Medicine
1981
Hartford
Connecticut
Kenneth G. Wilson
Physics
1982
Waltham
Massachusetts
George J. Stigler
Economics
1982
Seattle
Washington
William A. Fowler
Physics
1983
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
Barbara McClintock
Physiology or Medicine
1983
Hartford
Connecticut
Bruce Merrifield
Chemistry
1984
Forth Worth
Texas
Jerome Karle
Chemistry
1985
New York City
New York
Herbert A. Hauptman
Chemistry
1985
New York City
New York
Michael S. Brown
Physiology or Medicine
1985
New York City
New York
Joseph L. Goldstein
Physiology or Medicine
1985
Kingstree
South Carolina
Stanley Cohen
Physiology or Medicine
1986
New York City
New York
James M. Buchanan
Economics
1986
Murrfreesboro
Tennessee
Dudley R. Herschbach
Chemistry
1986
San Jose
California
Donald J. Cram
Chemistry
1987
Chester
Vermont
Robert M. Solow
Economics
1987
New York City
New York
Leon M. Lederman
Physics
1988
New York City
New York
Melvin Schwartz
Physics
1988
New York City
New York
Gertrude B. Elion
Physiology or Medicine
1988
New York City
New York
George H. Hitchings
Physiology or Medicine
1988
Hoquiam
Washington
Thomas R. Cech
Chemistry
1989
Chicago
Illinois
J. Michael Bishop
Physiology or Medicine
1989
York
Pennsylvania
Harold E. Varmus
Physiology or Medicine
1989
Oceanside
New York
Norman F. Ramsey
Physics
1989
Washington
DC
Harry M. Markowitz
Economics
1990
Chicago
Illinois
Jerome I. Friedman
Physics
1990
Chicago
Illinois
Elias James Corey
Chemistry
1990
Methuen
Massachusetts
Merton H. Miller
Economics
1990
Boston
Massachusetts
William F. Sharpe
Economics
1990
Boston
Massachusetts
Henry W. Kendall
Physics
1990
Boston
Massachusetts
Joseph E. Murray
Physiology or Medicine
1990
Milford
Massachusetts
E. Donnall Thomas
Physiology or Medicine
1990
Mart
Texas
Edwin G. Krebs
Physiology or Medicine
1992
Lansing
Iowa
Gary S. Becker
Economics
1992
Pottsville
Pennsylvania
Toni Morrison
Literature
1993
Lorain
Ohio
Robert W. Fogel
Economics
1993
New York City
New York
Douglass C. North
Economics
1993
Cambridge
Massachusetts
Russell A. Hulse
Physics
1993
New York City
New York
Joseph H. Taylor Jr.
Physics
1993
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
Kary B. Mullis
Chemistry
1993
Lenoir
North Carolina
Phillip A. Sharp
Physiology or Medicine
1993
Falmouth
Kentucky
Clifford G. Shull
Physics
1994
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
Alfred G. Gilman
Physiology or Medicine
1994
New Haven
Connecticut
John Forbes Nash
Economics
1994
Bluefield
West Virginia
Martin Rodbell
Physiology or Medicine
1994
Baltimore
Maryland
F. Sherwood Rowland
Chemistry
1995
Delaware
Ohio
Eric F. Wieschaus
Physiology or Medicine
1995
South Bend
Indiana
Martin L. Perl
Physics
1995
New York City
New York
Frederick Reines
Physics
1995
Paterson
New Jersey
Edward B. Lewis
Physiology or Medicine
1995
Wilkes-Barre
Pennsylvania
Robert Lucas Jr.
Economics
1995
Yakima
Washington
Richard E. Smalley
Chemistry
1996
Akron
Ohio
David M. Lee
Physics
1996
Rye
New York
Robert F. Curl Jr.
Chemistry
1996
Alice
Texas
Robert C. Richardson
Physics
1996
Washington
DC
Douglas D. Osheroff
Physics
1996
Aberdeen
Washington
Steven Chu
Physics
1997
St Louis
Missouri
Stanley B. Prusiner
Physiology or Medicine
1997
Des Moines
Iowa
Robert C. Merton
Economics
1997
New York City
New York
Jody Williams
Peace
1997
Rutland
Vermont
William D. Phillips
Physics
1997
Wilkes-Barre
Pennsylvania
Paul D. Boyer
Chemistry
1997
Provo
Utah
Ferid Murad
Physiology or Medicine
1998
Whiting
Indiana
Louis J. Ignarro
Physiology or Medicine
1998
New York City
New York
Robert F. Furchgott
Physiology or Medicine
1998
Charleston
South Carolina
Robert B. Laughlin
Physics
1998
Visalia
California
Alan Heeger
Chemistry
2000
Sioux City
Iowa
James J. Heckman
Economics
2000
Chicago
Illinois
Jack Kilby
Physics
2000
Jefferson City
Missouri
Paul Greengard
Physiology or Medicine
2000
New York City
New York
Daniel L. McFadden
Economics
2000
Raleigh
North Carolina
Joseph E. Stiglitz
Economics
2001
Gary
Indiana
William S. Knowles
Chemistry
2001
Taunton
Massachusetts
K. Barry Sharpless
Chemistry
2001
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
George A. Akerlof
Economics
2001
New Haven
Connecticut
A. Michael Spence
Economics
2001
Montclair
New Jersey
Eric A. Cornell
Physics
2001
Palo Alto
California
Carl E. Wieman
Physics
2001
Corvallis
Oregon
Leland H. Hartwell
Physiology or Medicine
2001
Los Angeles
California
Vernon L. Smith
Economics
2002
Wichita
Kansas
H. Robert Horvitz
Physiology or Medicine
2002
Chicago
Illinois
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