Mario Capecchi was awarded a Nobel, or a share of one, for his work in molecular biology. In reality, he might ought to have been awarded such a prize merely for living such a life as he has lived, just for being who he is.
You can read more detail about him in this item in The Independent.
He was born in Nazi Europe and when he was four his mother was taken to Dachau. He lived on his own, as a "feral child" in war-torn Europe then until he was eight when his mother, having survived the concentration camp, found him and brought him to America. He grew up in a commune and went to Harvard. His first grant requests to the NIH were declined as "not worth pursuit." He was later told by the NIH that they were "glad you didn't take our advice."
Click on the link and go read his whole story.