4 Little-Known Facts about Albert Einstein

“The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.” – Albert Einstein

Perhaps the most famous 20th-century scientist, Albert Einstein is best known for his theory of relativity and his work on quantum physics. April 18, 2020, marks the 65th anniversary of his death. To mark the occasion, here are 4 little-known facts about the famous wiry-haired German.

1. Einstein was a great student.
Despite the commonly-repeated legend that Einstein was a bad student, letters from his mother to his aunt say otherwise. When he was in grade school, his mother wrote this in a letter to her sister: “Yesterday Albert received his grades. He was again number one, and his report card was brilliant.”

The myth partially comes from the fact that he didn’t finish high school because of clashes with authority figures.

2. Einstein loved music as much as the sciences.
His mother Paula, who played the piano all her life, started Albert on the violin when he was 6. At 13, he discovered Mozart’s violin sonatas, and his interest became permanent. His wife Elsa once said that music was a part of his thinking process. At one point, he said that if it weren’t for his interest in physics, he would have been a professional musician.

3. Einstein was political.
Probably because of his experience of being Jewish and having to flee Nazi Germany during World War II, Einstein was an anti-war advocate and renounced his German citizenship twice: first in response to World War I and again in protest of Hitler and the Nazis. He was a founding member of the German Democratic party in 1918.

4. He wasn’t an overnight success.
After studying to be a physics and mathematics teacher in college, Einstein applied to be a professor at several schools but failed to get a job (partially due to his rocky relationship with his college professors). Instead, he took a low-level job at a Swiss patent office after graduating.

As with many famous historical figures, there is more to Albert Einstein than his goofy tongue picture and E=mc2!

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