Jewish German physicist (1879-1955). Born in Ulm, Germany to middle-class Jewish parents, Albert soon moved with his family to Munich, where his uncle Jacob taught him mathematics, and Max Talmey, a lunch guest, gave him books on geometry and science.

When his family moved to Italy in 1894, Albert stayed behind to finish high school, but he was dismissed after a doctor said he was going to have a nervous breakdown. He took the entrance exam for Swiss Polytechnic in Zurich, in an attempt to skip high school completely, and although he scored high in math, he still flunked. He finished high school in Aarau, Switzerland, and enrolled in Swiss Polytechnic, where he met with his future wife, Mileva Maric (the only woman in his class), and graduated with a less-than-outstanding record.

Albert and Mileva had a daughter out of wedlock and gave her up for adoption. After struggling to find a job, Albert finally got a position as a clerk at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. Albert and Mileva finally married in 1903.

Einstein puzzled through physics problems in his spare time and, in 1905, he published papers on Brownian motion, the photoelectric effect, and special relativity. (He won the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his photoelectric paper.) These papers allowed him to get jobs at various universities in Zurich, Prague, and Berlin. Unfortunately, by the time he got to Berlin, his marriage had fallen apart. Einstein was a sub-par husband and father, and Mileva returned to Zurich with the couple's two sons. The Einsteins divorced five years later. (Mileva requested--and got--rights to all of Albert's future Nobel Prize money)

Einstein completed his general theory of relativity in 1915, but fell seriously ill soon afterwards. His cousin Elsa nursed him back to health, and they married soon after his divorce was final. By now, Einstein was famous, and he traveled all over the world lecturing on physics and liberal causes.

As anti-Semitism rose in Germany, a radical group put a price on his head, and a group of scientists set out to try to disprove his theories. He finally fled Germany when Hitler and the Nazis came to power. He accepted a post at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He and an old friend named Leo Szilard wrote a letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, relating their fears that the Nazis were working on a nuclear fission device and encouraging him to pursue research on the atomic bomb. This, of course, got the Manhattan Project started, though Einstein didn't work on it--never a particularly patriotic individual, it was believed that he would be a security risk.

Einstein spent his last years trying to put together a unified field theory and campaigning for world peace. He enjoyed boating, walking, and playing his violin, but he most enjoyed sitting by himself and thinking.

Research from GURPS Who's Who, compiled by Phil Masters, "Albert Einstein" by Jack Elmy, pp. 118-119.