Albert Einstein was one of the twentieth century's greatest thinkers and scientists. His discoveries revolutionized the field of physics and forever altered mankind's understanding of the basic workings of the universe, leading to the dawn of the atomic age. Thrust into unexpected celebrity by the dramatic verification of his theories in 1919, Einstein quickly became an international icon of wisdom and intelligence.
Always a bit awkward in his social relations, Einstein nevertheless resolved to use his newfound fame as a platform to speak out on the political and social matters most important to him. From the early 1920s through his death in 1955, Einstein served as a powerful spokesman against nationalism, militarism, and anti-Semitism—the dark forces that repeatedly marred his upbringing as a German Jew and forced him, on two separate occasions, to renounce his German citizenship. After fleeing Hitler's Germany in 1933, Einstein resettled in America and spent the last 22 years of his life in Princeton, New Jersey, working to his dying day to formulate a "unified field" theory that could explain all the forces in nature in a single equation. Though he did not succeed in that quest, Einstein remains today, half a century after his death, one of our most powerful symbols of pure genius.