From World Genius To Having His Brain Stolen And Stored In A Jar For 40 Year, A Forgotten Story

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Einstein didn’t become a celebrity till the year 1919 when his theory of relativity changed the world but his story started long before and continued long after. This is the tragic yet inspiring rue story of the man whowon the Nobel Prize for explaining the Photoelectric Effect in the year 1921.

The story serves as a reminder that if you’re passionate about your work,you shouldn’t wait for recognition recognition. chances are people won’t be able to understand or appreciate what you’re doing till long after, and when they finally do, they might go to great length to try and recreate what you did, even if that means literarly stealing your brain and storing in a cookie jar for 40 years….

It All Started With A Compass

lbert Einstein (1879-1955) at 3, 1882

Photo by Apic/Getty Images

Photo by Apic/Getty Images

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Germany. You might not expect this but he actually was a slow learner and didn’t even start speaking till he was 2. On average, most kids start speaking at just 12 months.

One day, his dad decided to give him a compass, having no idea this would change his life. Einstein would spend hours on end just looking at the compass. He couldn’t understand why it always pointed in the north direction, no matter where he moved. This sparked his interest in how things work.

His Professors Deemed Him A Failure

Albert Einstein the year he published five papers including one introducing his theory of relativity.

Bettmann / Getty Images

Bettmann / Getty Images

​Einstein was not the kind of kid who had a report called full of As. Even though he had mastered Calculus on his own at the age of 15, he didn’t like following the rules. He had a mind of his own.

Instead, he would skip class so he could sneak in some time in the lab. His professors gave up and thought he would probably never achieve anything big in life anyway.

He Married The Only Woman In His Class

Dr. Albert Einstein and his wife sailing for home on the SS Celtic.

Bettmann / Getty Images

Bettmann / Getty Images

Basically, Einstein and academics didn’t always see eye to eye. When he tried to go for the entrance exam at the University of Zurich, he failed, but luckily he passed on his second try.

Young Einstein managed to woo the only woman in his class and married her. They even had two sons together. Einstein graduated and at 21 he was desperate for any job that would take him. His dream was to work in a lab but he got hired to sell insurance instead.

The Miracle Year Changed Everything

Albert Einstein gives a lecture to the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Bettmann / Getty Images

Bettmann / Getty Images

Einstein’s career didn’t start out glamourous by any means. From insurance, he started working in a patent office. The silver lining is that he had time on his hands to discuss Physics with his friends. This eventually led him to write his own research paper.

Then in 1905, everything changed. This was his miracle year. He managed to publish 4 papers that completely transformed the way the world started looking at time, space, relativity, and the enigmatic universe.

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Even Success Comes At A Price

Professor Albert Einstein, Rabbi Stephen Wise, and Thomas Mann, noted author and exile from Nazi Germany, (left to right) are pictured as they attended the preview of Hendrik Van Loon's first motion picture, The Fight for Peace, here, May 10th. The film, made up of newsreels and privately owned material combined with animated drawings, shows the horrors of war.

Bettmann / Getty Images

Bettmann / Getty Images

Keep in mind that even though his papers were published, it took ten years before he could prove his general theory of relativity. While he waited, his marriage fell apart and he remarried.

Yet, Einstein believed in his work and he remained hopeful. He knew eventually the world would understand and see what he saw. In 1919, his general theory of relativity was confirmed by measuring the bending of starlight during a solar eclipse. From then on, everyone knew his name and he won the Nobel Prize. He Was 42 and already halfway through his life.

The Final Chapter

1944-Albert Einstein (1879-1955) famed theoretical physicist seated in front of bookcase.

Bettmann / Getty Images

Bettmann / Getty Images

Einstein eventually died soon after a blood vessel bursts near his heart, in 1955. He was offered the chance for surgery but he had accepted that his time had come. He had achieved all that he had set out to do in this world.

Those close to him reported him saying:​ “I want to go when I want to go. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share; it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.”

But It Didn’t Actually End There…

Pathologist Thomas Harvey (1912 - 2007) holds the brain of theoretical physicist Albert Einstein in a jar, Kansas, 1994. Harvey performed the autopsy on Einstein in 1955, and retained parts of the brain for scientific study.

Michael Brennan/Getty Images

Michael Brennan/Getty Images

Einstein’s story doesn’t end with his death. Just 8 hours after eight hours he was declared dead, a pathologist named Thomas Stoltz Harvey stole Einstein’s brain during the autopsy.

This was a scandal that went against the will of Einsetin’s whole family. Einstein’s son was furious. Eventually the family came around, and agreed to give the brain to medical researchers as long as that the research findings would be published in a credible scientific journal.

Are We Born Geniuses?

A wax model of Albert Einstein is displayed in the Berlin Branch of Madame Tussauds on July 3, in Berlin, Germany. The famous Madame Tussauds wax figure cabinett is due to open its location in Berlin on July 9th.

Photo by Steffen Kugler/Getty Images

Photo by Steffen Kugler/Getty Images

Harvey had his reasons for stealing Einstein’s brain. He was hoping to prove that some people are just born geniuses because it’s embedded in the wiring of their brains. Sadly, he hasn’t been able to completely prove this. They found some evidence, but not enough. Just because Einstein was a genius and different from most people, doesn’t mean that any small difference in his brain would explain why.

Yet, for 40 years, Harvey had the geniuses’ brain without permission, storing it in different containers, including a cookie jar, beer coolers, and a Tupperware container.

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Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives