20 Facts about Einstein You Didn’t Know

1. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, young Albert hated school and dropped out at 15.

2. He enjoyed music, playing the violin from the age of five and later performing in professional orchestras.

3. It seems he was a late bloomer. Having moved to Switzerland in 1895, he failed the entrance exam for a local polytechnic later that year.

4. He renounced his German citizenship in 1896 to avoid military service and got Swiss citizenship five years later.

5. In 1902 Einstein fathered an illegitimate daughter by his lover, Mileva Maric, who was a fellow science student. It is thought baby Lieserl was either adopted or died of scarlet fever.

6. Einstein married Mileva in 1903. They had two sons but one was sent to an asylum suffering schizophrenia.

7. The couple split after 11 years, with Einstein having had an affair with his cousin Elsa, who he married in 1919.

8. Einstein did much of his early scientific work while employed by the Swiss Patent Office from 1902-1909, a job he found undemanding.

9. He believed smoking had calming benefits.

10. His Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 was not for his theory of relativity, but for his work on photoelectric effects.

11. He became a celebrity in the Twenties, meeting the Emperor of Japan and visiting the White House.

12. Einstein refused to wear socks whenever possible.

13. He moved to the US in 1933 to escape the Nazis, and became best pals with screen legend Charlie Chaplin.

14. Einstein was dubbed an enemy of the Nazi regime, with a $5,000 bounty put on his head.

15. His trademark wild hair and poor personal hygiene led friends to drag him into the shower.

16. In 1939, pacifist Einstein wrote to US President Roosevelt to tell him that “a nuclear chain reaction could be achieved”.

17. He turned down the chance to become President of Israel in 1952.

18. The eyes of ET and Star Wars’ Yoda are said to be inspired by Einstein’s.

19. He died in 1955 after refusing an operation for internal bleeding, saying: “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. ”

20. After his death, his brain was stolen by a pathologist who claimed it weighed considerably LESS than the average adult’s.

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