Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was a nature researcher and explorer, universal genius and cosmopolitan, scientist and patron. His lengthy Latin American journey from 1799 to 1804 was celebrated as the second scientific discovery of South America. Members of natural science disciplines such as physical geography, climatology, ecology or oceanography see Humboldt as their founder. The masterpiece of his advanced years, the five-volume "Cosmos. Draft of a Physical Description of the World," has remained unique in its comprehensive approach.
Alexander von Humboldt not only invested his inheritance in his own studies but also selflessly sponsored other young scholars and talents, among them Justus von Liebig and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.