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Legal Commentary: Vertical Pulse
The Secret of Einstein's Fame
Albert Einstein achieved rock star fame during his lifetime. Even today, Einstein is by far the most well-known physicist. The Baby Einstein Company was acquired for $150 million by Disney. Hebrew University in Jerusalem earns tremendous royalties just by licensing his name.
There is no question that Albert Einstein was a genius. He was also active in politics. He was offered the presidency of Israel but declined the nomination. He spoke so ardently against the Nazi's that they placed a $5,000 bounty on his head. He campaigned against the development of the atomic bomb. He proved his loyalty to his adopted country by performing mathematical calculations on behalf of the US Navy to determine the optimum placing of mines in the Pacific Ocean. His wit also won the hearts of the media.
However, there were and are today many brilliant physicists. If one were to peer into many of their lives, one would find that many of them devoted considerable time and energy advancing philanthropic and honorable causes. Some of them were and are telegenic, attractive and accomplished wordsmiths.
So why was and is Einstein so revered? Is it more due to Einstein's intelligence or his hair? This is a deadly serious question. Was the incremental advantage that thrust Einstein into super stardom his superior intellect over the other Nobel-laureate physicists or his electrified-looking halo of hair?
It might very well be because of his hair. There may only be 1,000 people on the face of the earth who are intelligent enough to debate whether Einstein's contributions to physics exceeded those of the likes of Max Plank, Sir Isaac Newton or James Clerk Maxwell or any of the other scores of Nobel Laureates for Physics.
As many as 9,000 people attended Einstein's lectures which often dragged on for three or four hours. Most of us would be lost after listening to a few sentences. Even if we had understood an entire three hour lecture, Einstein himself said repeatedly it would take him three days to explain the Theory of Relativity. Moreover, Einstein delivered many of his presentations to English speaking audiences in his native German and quite often there was no translation. The fact that the vast majority of the people who attended Einstein's lectures had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, in no way diminished his appeal.
Einstein's hair, crumpled suits and German accent made him look and sound like a genius. The image that he projected propelled him into eternal fame.
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