Family, friends and a Northwestern University brass band all greeted Northwestern professor Dale T. Mortensen at O'Hare Airport.
Mortensen spent the last three months working as a visiting professor at a university in Denmark. That's where he learned he won the 2010 Nobel Prize for economic sciences.
"It means a lot, it means your life's work has been recognized. Maybe a few more students will read it now," said Mortensen.
"It's such a big deal. And it's amazing to have scholarly work recognized. It doesn't happen that often," said Beverly Mortensen, wife.
Mortensen shares the Nobel with two other economists. His whole family, including his three children and eight grandchildren, all plan to fly to Stockholm with him for the award ceremony on December 10.