songs from the 1960s onwards, has won the Nobel Prize in Literature in a surprise decision that gave a singer-songwriter one of the world's most prestigious cultural awards.
The Northland native's songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind," "Masters of War," "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall," "The Times They Are a-Changin," "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and "Like a Rolling Stone" captured a spirit of rebellion, dissent and independence.
"Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound," the Swedish Academy said on Thursday, when it awarded the 8 million Swedish crown ($930,000) prize.
More than 50 years on, Dylan - born in Duluth and raised in Hibbing - is still writing songs and is often on tour.
"He is probably the greatest living poet," Swedish Academy member Per Wastberg said.
Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Nobel Academy, told a news conference there was "great unity" in the panel's decision to give Dylan the prize.
Dylan, already the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, had been regularly nominated for the Nobel Prize; in 2011, the British gambling company Ladbrokes made him a 5-1 favorite to win the Nobel Prize in Literature though the committee's actions are known to be tricky to predict.
In 2011, John Bushey, host of the Dylan-centric radio program "Highway 61 Revisited" on KUMD-FM, told the News Tribune that fans had been waiting for Dylan to win this prize.
"There are a lot of people who think he's the most prolific poet of our generation," he said. "There are a lot of fans who think he's well-deserving."
Literature was the last of this year's Nobel prizes to be awarded. The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.