The mad genius
Albert Einstein was a German theoretical physicist. Albert developed the general theory of relativity. He has published hundreds of articles and scientific papers, as well as books and non-scientific works. He published 4 works on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, the equivalence of mass and energy. He received numerous awards and honors, inspired writers of novels and plays, directors of the movies. Albert’s expressive look and distinctive hairstyle made his a synonym of a mad professor, absent-minded genius, and this characted was willingly used by many in their works of art. Albert Einstein was also known for having bad memory. He failed to memorize the simplest things, like names of the months. However, as for his analytical thinking, he solved the most complicated mathematical formulas and tasks on physics with no problem at all. So did Albert have dyslexia? Let us first see whom he was and what his life path was like.
Albert’s childhood and youth
Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany, to the family of a salesman and engineer. Later his father has established a company that manufactured electrical equipment based on direct current, and the family moved to Munich. When Albert turned 13 with help of his mother he discovered the violin sonatas. He used to say: «If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.». At the age of 17, Albert enrolled in the four-year mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at the Zürich Polytechnic. At the age of 26, Albert was already known worldwide. People definitely knew him, and he was so well known in the USA where he moved to in order to escape from Nazi councellor of Germany Adolph Hitler. Albert would be stopped by strangers on the street wanting him to explain this or that theory to them. Albert usually answered: “Pardon me, sorry! Always I am mistaken for Professor Einstein.” Einstein had quite diverse range of interests, and worked hard every day to continuously develop his skills.
Awards and accomplishments
During his life, Albert Einstein was appointed as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, a president of the German Physical Society, and more. Einstein was awarded a PhD by the University of Zürich. By 1908, he was recognized as a leading scientist; he was also appointed as Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”, and elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society.
On 17 April 1955, Albert Einstein experienced internal bleeding. Einstein refused surgery, saying: “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.” He died at 76, having continued to work until the end of his life. During the autopsy, Einstein’s brain was removed for preservation in the hope that the neuroscience of the future would be able to discover what made Einstein so intelligent, but it yet didn’t.
So was it dyslexia?
In his autobiographies, Einstein wrote: “What, precisely, is “thinking”? […] For me it is not dubious that our thinking goes on for the most part without use of words.” He also said once: “Thoughts did not come in any verbal formulation. I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards.”
So was he a dyslexic? Many consider dyslexia a gift that opens the doors to new discoveries of life. Disabilities are surrounded by the aura of romanticism around the extraordinary creative mind. Einstein talked with long thoughtful sentences between the age of 2 and 3. However, some sources state Albert couldn’t talk until the age of 4, and couldn’t read before he turned 9. Albert was very good at school, despite many thinking the opposite. He mastered German language perfectly. Until the age of 7, Albert had a habit of whispering to himself, which some consider dull. Either way, contemporaneous sources wouldn’t have described Albert as dyslexic simply because they wouldn’t be able to make such a medical conclusion with the current state of medicine taking place at that times. If Albert ever had any disorder, that wouldn’t be dyslexia, but probably Asperger’s disorder which is characterized by problems in development of social skills and behavior, cause Einstein could stay in his room for weeks working. But was no doubt an exceptional person.