You know the hair. You know the goofy sense of humor. You know the relationship between energy, mass, and light. And you have at least a faint grasp on what that whole relativity thing really meant. But as one might imagine, there was an extremely complex individual behind that bushy mustache.
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany on this date in 1879. His father was an electrical engineer and founder of Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie. The direction of Einstein’s life was altered early on when his father showed him a compass, setting him on a path of discovery that would ultimately reshape the scientific world.
Einstein dropped out of school, enrolled at Zurich Polytechnic, got a gig at an office, taught at a number of European Universities, and eventually fled to the United States from his native Germany after the appointment of Adolf Hitler as chancellor. In 1939, Einstein wrote a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt, warning the president that the Nazis might be developing a nuclear bomb and suggesting the U.S. try to beat them to the punch.
In 1955, Einstein died in his adopted country after being admitted to the hospital for abdominal aortic aneurysm.
But what about Einstein’s love life, his political aspirations, and his thoughts on birthdays? And what exactly happened to his brain after he died? All of this and more are answered in this slideshow.