Leon Lederman
Leon Lederman YouTube grab

Winning a Nobel Prize is one of the most prestigious honours that an academician could hope for. Now, you might think that a Nobel Prize winner's life is all glitz and glamour; however, that's not always the case. Legendary Noble Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman, who breathed his last this Wednesday at 96, had to sell his Nobel Prize to pay his medical bills.

Lederman won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988 for his ground-breaking research in the field. However, reportedly, the physicist had to sell off his honourable Nobel Prize medal in 2015 in exchange for $765,000 in order to pay his escalating medical bills.

The physicist, who was a professor at the University of Chicago, started suffering from memory loss since 2011. In the end, he passed away at a nursing home in Idaho.

Lederman's story shows us the condition of healthcare in America. Professor Lederman was born in the 1920s. His father was a common man, who worked at a laundry facility. Later in his life, Lederman excelled in Physics and discovered the Higgs boson subatomic particle, which is known as the "God particle."

According to a University of Chicago professor Michael Turner, his contributions to the field of Physics are extraordinary. He helped the experts understand the basic forces and particles of nature. Along with being a great scientist of this time, Lederman was also a leader ahead of his time in terms of science education, he added.

However, even this genius mind couldn't figure out how to survive the continuously escalating health care cost of America. The United States of America's health care prices are usually quite higher than the rest of the world. For example, reportedly, one day, in an average American hospital, costs around $5,000, whereas the cost would be $765 in Australia or $424 in Spain. On the other hand, a private room in a nursing home costs over $7,000 per month on average. Add to that, medical insurances don't really cover long-term care.

The world-famous physicist also faced the same fate, where for the long-term care he had to sell off his Nobel Prize medal, which is basically like selling off the hard work of a lifetime.

Not only Professor Lederman discovered the Higgs boson subatomic particle but he also penned a book named The God Particle. Lederman had also directed the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory from 1978 to 1989.

"Leon Lederman provided the scientific vision that allowed Fermilab to remain on the cutting edge of technology for more than 40 years," the current director of the laboratory Nigel Lockyer said in a statement, reported AP.

According to a University of Chicago professor Michael Turner, his contributions to the field of Physics are extraordinary. He helped the experts understand the basic forces and particles of nature. Along with being a great scientist of this time, Lederman was also a leader ahead of his time in terms of science education, he added.