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Introduction to Albert Einstein

Updated on April 13, 2010
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Rebecca Graf is an experienced writer with nearly a decade of writing experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

Introducing to the World - Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein. A name synonymous with genius. A man whose picture is next to intelligent in the dictionary. One of the most famous people of the 20th century. A man who had a brain so unlike the rest of the world’s and yet so much like our own. A man who had integrity enough to give up so much, but who had so many faults. A man so admired and revered and yet helped bring the worst evil we have yet to build. A man unlike anyone else, yet so much like each of us. Let me introduce to you Albert Einstein.

Earliest photo
Earliest photo
In the patent office
In the patent office

The Early Years

On March 14, 1879 in Wurttemburg, Germany Albert Einstein arrived on the scene. His parents had no idea the impact that this child they began to believe as mentally retarded for the first 10 years of his life or so would have on the world and science.

If you asked Einstein where he was from, he would more likely have stated Munich since his family moved there when he was just 6 weeks old. Born in a country that for decades would be a hot spot for war and human atrocities which were not thought of at this time, Einstein would be a player in much of it.

His parents were very worried about the development of this child since it wasn’t until around the age of 9 that he began to speak properly and without difficulties. So many times parents think that these first few years are the window to their child’s future. While that can be true in many cases, it can also be a way to prepare them for absolute amazing feats. Do not think that the child’s initial development progress is a sure sign of what he will have in the future. Einstein later became fluent in English and German though he was a horrible speller in English – there is hope for all of us spelling challenged people out there. There is even hope if you think that geniuses have to be good at everything. Einstein learned to play the violin. Note that he learned to play it and not do it well. It was a comfort for him when he was troubled but people didn’t flock to hear a musical prodigy. He even disliked science fiction which you would think a science minded guy would really get into. It was not his dish of sauerkraut. But at a very early age though his speech and spelling capabilities were not going to be his ticket to fame and fortune, the passion of science began with a simple compass. He father showed him a compass and the curiosity and “magic” of it captivated the young boy and was the starting point into a world that would change the entire 20th century.

He attended school in Switzerland after his family moved to Italy. It was in 1896 that he attended a school for training as a teacher in math and physics. By 1901 he graduated and obtained Swiss citizenship. He didn’t get his dream teaching job that so many graduates long for. He fell into the same problem that many graduates do today. Instead he took a job in a Swiss Patent Office as a technical assistant. Not what we would call a good starting point for a genius. But actually this move was one of the best. He learned so much about patents, laws, and what was out there. The foundations of a great mind were still being laid in an unlikely place. His failure at his first university entrance exam is another aspect of his life many of us can relate to. The genius to take the world by storm had trouble getting into college. (He was accepted about a year later. So there is always hope.)

Beyond Germany

During this time he had an illegitimate daughter with Mileva Maric. Not much is known about this child. It seems that she either was born with disabilities, given up for adoption, or even died at an early age. Information is vague and very few letters reference her. In 1903 he married Mileva and had 2 sons by her over the next few years. One of his sons, Eduard, was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Einstein also became known as not having a very good memory. He was constantly forgetting things: umbrellas, to change his clothes, dates including birthdays, and phone numbers. He had so much more on his mind like relativity and atoms. The women in his life learned that you just went behind him filling in the gaps and picking up the discarded items. It gives us all hope to see a genius have such a bad memory.

In 1905 he obtained his Doctorate and began his renown academic climb. Just nine years later he became the Director of Kaiser Wilhem Physical Institute and Professor at the University of Berlin. That same year he became an official citizen of Germany. Five years later he divorced Mileva.

Looking at pictures of Einstein as we know him does not exactly make a young woman’s heart flutter. But there must have been something to that man. He was known for affair after affair. His extra-curricular activities were too much for his wife and just enough for the local gossips. In 1919 upon his divorce, he quickly married his cousin, Elsa Lowenthal. They did not have any children together and were together until her death in 1936.

In 1921 Einstein won the Noble Prize for Physics. He was making his mark beyond Germany now. In a span of 12 years a lot can happen though. During those years Germany changed. The bitter ending of the Great War was still fresh and there was resentment brewing in the hearts of many Germans. This opened the door for Hitler to step and make the “desired” changed that the Germans were seeking for. But the country got more than they bargained for. Many including Einstein were labeled “enemies of the state” and had their homes and other property routinely searched and at times seized. Not falling in with the “majority” could have deadly side effects. Einstein’s reaction was to continue to speak out against Hitler and the atrocities he was beginning to make a part of everyday life. This led him to renounce his citizenship in 1933 and move to America as the Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton University.

America received him with open arms and by 1939 Einstein was conversing with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and warning him that Germany was in the process of using Einstein’s own work to develop the atomic bomb, a device that would be akin to the destruction of all mankind. Though a peace loving man, he began to encourage Roosevelt to develop his own or prepare to say “Heil, Hitler” everyday. Thus began the Manhattan Project. He became a U.S. citizen in 1940 and in 1945 resigned his position at Princeton.

A Life to Impact Many

Most don’t realize that Einstein was very big in getting Israel a home of their own. In fact he was offered the Presidency of Israel. He could have become Israel’s first leader in centuries. Instead he decided to focus on education instead of politics and co-founded the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

On April 18, 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey, Albert Einstein said goodbye to a world that loved him, cursed him, and envied him. He became the Time magazine Person of the Century. His parents would have been shocked at all he had done. The child thought to be retarded led the world in science. The man who had trouble with family life, gave hope to many Jewish families. The man who longed for peace brought radiation and death the thousands. The man who could have had the world at his finger tips, preferred the lab and the classroom. A man we can all relate to and who can give of us hope.

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      Tim Symonds 3 years ago

      In his later years Albert Einstein came to be considered a secular saint for proclamations like "Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice, I can help in the greatest of all causes - goodwill among men and peace on earth." His younger years were different.

      Three years ago I published a research paper on the real-life mystery of Einstein's illegitimate daughter titled 'A Vital Detail In The Story of Albert Einstein' (http://alberteinsteinmystery.wordpress.com/). Now my 'Fourth Theory' on her fate forms the basis of the new Sherlock Holmes novel -

      Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery of Einstein's Daughter

      In late 1903 Albert Einstein's illegitimate daughter 'Lieserl' disappears without trace in Serbia aged around 21 months. As Holmes exclaims in 'the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter', ‘the most ruthless effort has been made by public officials, priests, monks, friends, relatives and relatives by marriage to seek out and destroy every document with Lieserl’s name on it. The question is – why?’

      ‘Lieserl’s fate shadows the Einstein legend like some unsolved equation’ Frederic Golden Time Magazine

      Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery of Einstein's Daughter is available at www.mxpublishing.co.uk/engine/shop/product/9781780925721 (re. review copies contact Steve Emecz at mxpublishing@btinternet.com) or www.amazon.co.uk/Sherlock-Holmes-Mystery-Einsteins-Daughter/dp/1780925727

      Tim Symonds was born in London. He grew up in Somerset, Dorset and Guernsey. After several years working in the Kenya Highlands and along the Zambezi River he emigrated to the United States. He studied in Germany at Göttingen and at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Political Science. Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery Of Einstein’s Daughter was written in a converted oast house near Rudyard Kipling’s old home Bateman’s in Sussex and in the forests and hidden valleys of the Sussex High Weald.

      The author’s other detective novels include Sherlock Holmes and The Dead Boer at Scotney Castle and Sherlock Holmes and The Case of the Bulgarian Codex.

      He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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      Imtiaz ahmad baloch 4 years ago

      He was the greatest scientist .Today every body became to know his value in science

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      tarun upadhyay 5 years ago

      albert einstein sir, i miss u sir , i think, u r a great scintiht in the world

    • profile image

      vicky 5 years ago

      I am big fan albert einstein...................................

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      sourabh 5 years ago

      Einstein was great man. I love this man...........love it;

    • allie8020 profile image

      Allie Mendoza 7 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Wow! I'm a huge Einstein fan. Your hub offered some things I didn't know about him. Thanks for sharing. What an interesting hub!

    • apiket profile image

      apiket 7 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah.

      Great post - be interesting to know what he'd say in our day!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Very interesting! I really enjoyed reading this and the video's. It seems a simple thing like a compass gave him direction in life. :D

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      TheSandman 8 years ago

      Absolutely love this piece !!! I have always had an interest in Einstein and this is some of the best stuff I have even read and I haven't even watched all the video yet, I just had to get this note off to you.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      I think that in his case many of us got the usual education flaw passed on to us (if I'm wording this right) in that schools and such only presented one aspect and a very narrow view at that. They left out the complete person and therefore we begin to place them on pedestals or maybe even mentally stoning them when if we knew the complete complex person we would find ourselves almost looking at a mirror at times.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      haha - guess so - with all those anecdotes about his forgetfulness, one would have hardly imagined this other side of him!

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Shalini, both came as a shock to me. He was more than just "relative", I guess. :)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Great hub RGraf! I didn't know that bit about Israel - or about him being a ladies man!!

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Yeah, the Ladies man part was a complete surprise to me. Hugh Jackson is more the type for me to take a second look at.

      Love your quote!!!! I should have added a few quotes of his. Might have to do that now. Thanks for the idea.

    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 8 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Great hub. Learned a few things I didn't know about him- a ladies man huh? INteresting. I'm always quoting this particular quote from him- "Example isn't one way of teaching, it is the only way to teach".

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Eddie, YOU give many hope including me.

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      Eddie Perkins 8 years ago

      Rebecca,

      Very encouraging indeed.

      Maybe there is still hope for me.

      Thank you. ~ eddie

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      You are most welcome. He was very interesting. He seemed so different yet so like many of us. I think that is why I like him, too.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 8 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thanks for this very interesting hub. I admire & respect A.E. and his work very much. He deserves to be remembered.

      Tumbs up and many thanks again.

    • RGraf profile image
      Author

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Mike, thank you. A life size head? Wow, you were a fan!!!! He was an impressive man. I loved the fact that he had many faults and was not perfect at everything. It gives me such hope.

    • Mike the salesman profile image

      Mike the salesman 8 years ago from birmingham alabama/sherwood oregon

      wow! LOVED the einstinen hub! Well written! I am a big Albert fan! I have a life size head pic of him I keep on my desk! very impressive hub!

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      eovery, you are welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

      Misty, Thank you. I'm glad I added to your day :) He was a much more interesting man than I had ever thought.

      Suzanne, neither did I. But I shouldn't be surprised. I think that there is everything out there somewhere :)

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      How interesting! I had no idea there was an Albert Einstein action figure! ;)

      Thanks!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Fabulous hub, and I for one learnt loads about Einstein from reading it. Thumbs up :)

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      What a great guy! Thanks for blogging this.