11 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Einstein

Einstein turns 138 today, so to celebrate we’ve collated a list of some of his more interesting moments, just for his birthday. Happy birthday Einstein, you radical human, you.

1. He was a high school drop-out

Einstein dropped out at the early age of 15. He excelled at school but did not like the disciplined style of his teachers at the Munich Gymnasium School in Germany.

"Albert increasingly resolved not to remain in Munich, and he worked out a plan."  Wrote one family member.

2. He adored music and played as a professional violinist

He loved to play music; “Life without playing music is inconceivable for me I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music … I get most joy in life out of music.” His wife Elsa admitted that she fell in love with Einstein because of how beautifully he played Mozart on his violin. 

Einstein had many musical friendships and was often joining in with chamber music recitals.

3. He failed the entrance exam for a Polytechnic in Switzerland

He took the entrance exam for a polytechnic school in Zurich but failed to get in. Einstein kept up his study and was accepted the following year.

4. He fathered an illegitimate daughter by his first wife, house- Mileva Maric

Her name was Lieserl and she was born one year before Mileva and Albert were married. It is believed that she died from Scarlett fever or was put up for adoption.

5. He had two sons with Mileva- one suffered from Schizophrenia

Eduard Einstein was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and was institutionalised. Both his father and brother, Hans believed the treatment for Eduard’s schizophrenia made his condition worse.

6. He believed smoking had calming benefits

The Nobel Prize winner was a smoking enthusiast: “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs,” he said in 1950.

Einstein and Wife Elsa

Image: Einstein and Wife Elsa, Wiki-Commons.

7. He became somewhat of a celebrity in the 1920s- meeting the emperor of Japan and visiting the White House

Einstein and Chaim Weizmann travelled to America in 1921. He was welcomed by President Warren G. Harding in the White House, and in 1922, Einstein and his wife Elsa made the long journey to Japan visiting; Colombo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai on the way.

8. He met Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein met in the 1930s; they were famously quoted saying:

“Einstein: What I most admire about your art, is your universality. You don’t say a word, yet the world understands you!
Chaplin: True. But your glory is even greater! The whole world admires you, even though they don’t understand a word of what you say.”

Einstein and Charlie Chaplin at City of Lights

Image: Einstein and Charlie Chaplin at City of Lights premiere, February 2, 1931. Wikimedia Commons.

9. He turned down the presidency of Israel in 1952

Chaim Weizmann asked Albert Einstein if he were willing to lead the young nation of Israel. Einstein turned down the presidency but remained sympathetic toward Israel.

10. The eyes of E.T. and Yoda were inspired by Einstein’s.

Make-up supervisor, Stuart Freeborn modelled Yoda after his own face, but later admitted to adding a bit of Einstein’s eyes and wrinkles for that “wise-look”.

For E.T Spielberg asked the film’s animatronic; Rambaldi to incorporate a little of Hemingway, a little of poet Carl Sandburg and a little Einstein into E.T’s eyes. 


Image: Yoda | by adactio Flikr.

11. His brain was stolen by a pathologist

Einstein’s son Hans learned of his father’s mutilation from a front-page article in the New York Times: "the brain that worked out the theory of relativity and made possible the development of nuclear fission" had been removed "for scientific study".

Happy birthday Einstein.
We miss you.

Tune into Genius on Monday the 24th of April

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