Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Germany as the son of Pauline and Hermann Einstein. Albert was slow to talk. Family members remember that he didn't really start talking until he could speak in entire sentences. He would pause for long periods to gather his thoughts before speaking. His sister told stories of his hours of perseverance constructing houses from playing cards.|
One of his favorite childhood stories was about the wonder he felt the first time he saw a compass. The compass convinced him that there had to be "something behind things, something deeply hidden." At the age of 12, he was given a book on Euclidean plane geometry, which sparked his great wonder in mathematics and physics. His uncle was also a great influence in young Albert's life. He was an engineer and loved to talk about his work, which gave Albert great inspiration as a child.
Einstein loved to learn, but hated the high school he was sent to in Munich. He generally got good grades and was one of the top students in mathematics, but could not stand the idea that success depended on memorization and the obedience of authority. Einstein taught himself most material at home where he had quite a collection of books on mathematics and physics. He was even told to leave school by one of his teachers because his presence caused a loss of respect for the teachers by his fellow students.
In 1905 Einstein received his doctorate from the University of Zurich for a theoretical dissertation on the dimensions of molecules, and went on to become one the greatest scientists of the 20th century as well as winning the Nobel Prize. In 1933, he accepted a position at the new Institution for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey where he stayed until his death in 1955.
Was his brain different? This question plagued people for many years. Just before his death, Einstein gave permission to researchers to dissect his brain and look for abnormalities, but none were found. Later, in 1999, Sandra F. Witelson discovered he lacked a small wrinkle called the parietal operculum. She theorized that because of the absence of this wrinkle, other regions of his brain were able to develop more fully, possibly contributing to his incredible intelligence.