Before Albert Einstein Died In April 1955 He Told His Family He Didn’t Want To Be Studied But Hours After He Perished A Medical Examiner Stole His Brain For Research
Wikimedia CommonsWhile analyzing Albert Einsteins cause of death, an autopisiest famously removed the geniuss brain without permission from his family.
When Albert Einstein was rushed to the hospital in 1955, he knew that his end was near. But the 76-year-old famed German physicist was ready, and he informed his doctors with all the clarity of a math equation that he would not like to receive medical attention.
I want to go when I want, he said. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.
When Albert Einstein died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm on April 18, 1955, he left behind an unparalleled legacy. The frizzy-haired scientist had become an icon of the 20th century, befriended Charlie Chaplin, escaped Nazi Germany as authoritarianism loomed, and pioneered an entirely new model of physics.
Einstein was so revered, in fact, that just hours after his death his inimitable brain was stolen from his corpse and remained stashed away in a jar in a doctors home. Though his life has been dutifully chronicled, Albert Einsteins death and the bizarre journey of his brain afterward deserve an equally meticulous look.
The Causes Of Albert Einsteins Death
Princeton UniversityPeople flocked to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University upon hearing of Einsteins death.
On his final day, Einstein was busy writing a speech for a television appearance commemorating the State of Israels seventh anniversary when he experienced an abdominal aortic aneurysm , a condition during which the bodys main blood vessel becomes too large and bursts. Einstein had experienced a condition like this before and had it surgically repaired in 1948. But this time, he refused surgery.
When Albert Einstein died, some speculated that his cause of death could have been correlated with a case of syphilis. According to one doctor who was friends with the physicist and wrote about the death of Albert Einstein, AAA can be instigated by syphilis, a disease some thought that Einstein, who was a strongly sexual person, could have contracted.
However, no evidence of syphilis was found in Einsteins body or brain in the autopsy that followed his death.
But Albert Einsteins cause of death could have been exacerbated by another factor: his lifelong smoking habit. According to another study, men who smoked were 7.6 times more likely to experience a fatal AAA. Even though Einsteins doctors had told him to quit smoking various times throughout his life, the genius rarely hung up the vice for long.
On the day that Einstein passed, the Princeton Hospital was mobbed with journalists and mourners alike.
The Bizarre Posthumous Journey Of Einstein’s Brain
Albert Einstein, touted as one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, died April 18, 1955, as a result of a fatal aneurysm, in Princeton, New Jersey. Despite Einsteins wishes to have his entire body cremated, the doctor who conducted his autopsy, Thomas Harvey, had other planshe kept the brain aside. After this was discovered by Einsteins son Hans Albert, Dr. Harvey convinced Hans Albert to allow him to keep the brain in order to investigate potential biological causes for Einsteins brilliance. Thus, a pathologist, with no particular neuroscience experience, came to be in possession of the highly coveted brain. This was just the beginning of the brains strange adventure.
Shortly after claiming Einsteins brain, Dr. Harvey lost his job at Princeton Hospital, where he had ostensibly intended to conduct his research. From Princeton, with Einsteins brain in tow, Harvey traveled to Philadelphia and around the Midwest, including Kansas and Missouri. Periodically, he would send or give sections of the brain to scientists to study, but for the most part the brain was kept hidden from the world in jars in his basement. However, despite repeated promises from Harvey, no studies were published on Einsteins brain until 1985, 30 years after Einsteins death, when a neuroscientist from UCLA, who had received sections from Harvey, published the first.
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His Brain Was Notoriously Stolen
Hours after he passed, the doctor who performed the autopsy on the corpse of one of the worlds most brilliant men removed his brain and took it home without the permission of Einsteins family.
His name was Dr. Thomas Harvey, and he was convinced that Einsteins brain needed to be studied as he was one of the most intelligent men in the world. Even though Einstein had written out instructions to be cremated upon death, his son Hans ultimately gave Dr. Harvey his blessing, as he evidently also believed in the importance of studying the mind of a genius.
Harvey meticulously photographed the brain and sliced it into 240 chunks, some of which he sent to other researchers, and one he tried to gift Einsteins granddaughter in the 90s she refused. Harvey reportedly transported parts of the brain across the country in a cider box that he kept stashed under a beer cooler.
In 1985, he published a paper on Einsteins brain, which alleged that it actually looked different from the average brain and therefore functioned differently. Later studies, however, have disproved these theories, though some researchers maintain that Harveys work was correct.
Meanwhile, Harvey lost his medical license for incompetency in 1988.
National Museum of Health and MedicineAlbert Einsteins brain prior to its dissection in 1955.
Results On Albert Einsteins Brain Study
The results of the analysis of Albert Einsteins brain were happening from 1975 to the present. After Hans Alberts permission, the outlook for Harvey changed. He was showered with calls, interviews and instantly, even fame. The journalists camped in his garden. Science magazine was in contact with him, as well as the best neuroanatomists in the world.
The 240 blocks and 12 sets of 200 slides that Harvey had created by dividing Albert Einsteins brain began to pay off.
What was behind the most desired brain in the world
The first thing that caught the attention of Albert Einsteins brain was its size. It was smaller than usual.
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Hours After He Died Albert Einsteins Brain Was Snatched By The Opportunistic Pathologist Who Did His Autopsy Then Left In Two Jars For 30 Years
National Museum of Health and MedicineAlbert Einsteins stolen brain was kept in a cookie jar for 30 years before a journalist tracked it down.
Because of his world-renowned genius, Albert Einsteins brain became a coveted object even after he died. Within hours of Albert Einsteins death on April 18, 1955, an autopsy was performed on him by a doctor who actually stole his brain.
While Einsteins son was initially furious, he did later permit the doctor, a man named Thomas Harvey, to give the brain to researchers who wanted to identify whether the physicists genius came from a brain that was physically different.
That winding, decades-long quest has since revealed some controversial results and perhaps at the expense of the Einstein family and the genius himself.
How Albert Einstein’s Brain Worked
By: Molly Edmonds | Updated: Feb 12, 2021
In his last years of life, Albert Einstein knew he was ill and refused operations that would save his life. He made his wishes clear: “I want to be cremated so people won’t come to worship at my bones” . Einstein died on April 18, 1955, at the age of 76 of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurism, and he got his wish as far as his bones were concerned his ashes were scattered in an undisclosed location. But Einstein’s brain was a different matter.
During the autopsy, conducted at Princeton Hospital, a pathologist named Thomas Harvey removed Einstein’s brain — the brain that had given the world such revolutionary thoughts as E=mc², the theory of relativity, an understanding of the speed of light and the idea that led to the completion of the atomic bomb. Harvey held the brain that produced those thoughts in his hands. And then he took it.
Depending on whom you believe, Harvey either did a wonderful thing for science that day, or he’s no better than a common grave robber. Einstein had participated in studies during his lifetime to ascertain what might have made his brain different, and at least one biographer claims that Einstein wished for his gray matter to be studied after death . Others claim that the brain fell under the category of things Einstein wanted cremated, and there was further outrage when it was revealed that another person removed Einstein’s eyeballs as a souvenir .
Follow the brain’s progress on the next page.
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He Was Asked To Be President Of Israel
Einstein in 1948.
Though not traditionally religious, Einstein felt a deep connection to his Jewish heritage and often spoke out against anti-Semitism. He was never a staunch Zionist, but when head of state Chaim Weizmann died in 1952, the Israeli government offered to appoint him as the nations second president. The 73-year-old wasted little time in declining the honor. All my life I have dealt with objective matters, Einstein wrote in a letter to the Israeli ambassador, hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official function.
Before Albert Einstein Died He Was The Worlds Most Valuable Mind
Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. Before he developed his theory of general relativity in 1915 and won the Nobel Peace Prize for Physics six years after that, Einstein was just another aimless middle-class Jew with secular parents.
As an adult, Einstein recalled two wonders that deeply affected him as a child. The first was his encounter with a compass when he was five years old. This birthed a lifelong fascination with the invisible forces of the universe. His second was the discovery of a geometry book when he was 12, which he adoringly called his sacred little geometry book.
Also around this time, Einsteins teachers infamously told the restless youth that he would amount to nothing.
Wikimedia CommonsThe genius was a lifelong pipe smoker, and some believe this contributed to Albert Einsteins cause of death.
Undeterred, Einsteins curiosity about electricity and light grew stronger as he grew older, and in 1900, graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. Despite his inquisitive nature and academic background, however, Einstein struggled to secure a research position.
The physics community initially ignored him, but he garnered a reputation by attending conferences and international meetings. Finally, in 1915, he completed his general theory of relativity, and just like that, he was spirited around the globe as a lauded thinker, rubbing elbows with academics and Hollywood celebrities alike.
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No One Knows What Happened To His First Daughter
Book cover for Einsteins Daughter: The Search for Lieserl by Michele Zackheim.
In 1896, Einstein renounced his German citizenship and enrolled at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich. There, he began a passionate love affair with Mileva Maric, a fellow physicist-in-training originally from Serbia. The couple later married and had two sons after graduating, but a year before they tied the knot, Maric gave birth to an illegitimate daughter named Lieserl. Einstein never spoke about the child to his family, and biographers werent even aware of her existence until examining his private papers in the late-1980s. Her fate remains a mystery to this day. Some scholars think Lieserl died from scarlet fever in 1903, while others believe she survived the sickness and was given up for adoption in Marics native Serbia.
What Happened To Albert Einsteins Brain After He Died
Albert Einstein was one of the most brilliant minds of our time. After he died, his brain was removed and studied. Someone pulled Albert Einsteins brain within seven and a half hours of his death it was preserved and stored in a jar at the pathology department of Princeton Hospital.
Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who performed the autopsy, took the brain without permission from Einsteins family. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating story of Albert Einsteins brain.
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Unsolved Mystery: What Sandra Witelson Discovered
Dr. Diamond’s work had received tremendous press coverage, only to be exposed as critically flawed in execution. In 1996, a University of Alabama researcher named Britt Anderson published another study on Einstein’s brain with much less hullaballoo. Anderson had discovered that Einstein’s frontal cortex was much thinner than normal, but that it was more densely packed with neurons . Anderson told Thomas Harvey that a researcher at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, had been studying whether a more tightly packed cortex might explain differences in men’s and women’s brains. While men’s brains were bigger, women’s brains had the neurons packed tightly together, which may mean they can communicate more quickly.
Harvey took the name of that researcher and sent her a one-line fax: “Would you be willing to collaborate with me on studying the brain of Albert Einstein?” . Dr. Sandra Witelson, the researcher at McMaster, answered back in the affirmative. What Witelson had going for her that other researchers did not was a large collection of brains with IQs, general health and psychiatric state accounted for. There would be no confusion about the control group, as there was with Diamond’s work — the 35 male brains used had an average IQ score of 116, slightly higher than normal . For decades, Witelson had been working with doctors and nurses to acquire brains for her research. She would be able to conduct the largest study of this kind.
What Was Albert Einsteins Iq
There are very few people in the world who have such a high IQ. Only 1 in 50 people reach it. Albert Einstein had an IQ greater than 160, paired by Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates.
In this post we talked about the brain of one of the great figures of physics and popular culture: Albert Einstein. We will discover what it is that he makes so special.
If you have any questions or comments please let us know!
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Did You Know Einstein’s Brain Was Stolen Cut Into Pieces And Studied To Unlock The Mystery Behind His Intelligence
Best known for developing the general theory of relativity and the mass-energy equivalence, one of the most absent-minded genius physicists, Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Germany.
His scholarly feats have made the name of Einstein synonymous with ‘Genius’. When he passed away on April 18, in the year 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey, from an abdominal aortic aneurysm, his brain was stolen by the pathologist on call, Thomas Harveys.
One Of Einstein’s Most Famous Quotes Is Completely Misinterpreted
“God does not play dice with the universe” is one of Einstein’s most famous and somewhat cryptic quotes.
His reference to God often causes people to assume he was religious he wasn’t. He was using God as a metaphor. In a letter he wrote in 1954, he said:
I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
And when Einstein said “does not play dice,” he was referring to the unpredictable nature of subatomic particles in quantum physics.
In short, the quote aims to outline how weird quantum mechanics is as a theory. You can read more on Tech Insider.
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Stealing The Greatest Mind In The World
The medics werent sure what was the exact cause of death, so they followed to perform an autopsy which was led by pathologist Thomas Harvey. Harvey was well aware of the wishes made by Einstein, but his fanatic mind didnt stop him from stealing Einsteins brain. Days later Harvey was questioned about the brain. That is when he went to Hans Albert to ask for his blessing to study the brain, all in the interest of science.
Despite Hans Albert giving his blessing to Harvey, he was fired from his role as a pathologist from Princeton Hospital. Harvey took the brain to Philadelphia, where he started to analyze it in order to find the secret to Einsteins vast intelligence. The brain was carved into 240 pieces which were all preserved in a liquid called celloidin. The pieces were placed in two separate jars and left in the basement just like pickles.
The reason he cut the brain into so many pieces was to share Einsteins brain with other researchers around the world that were as interested as him. As weird as it sounds, a part of Einsteins brain was sent around the world in a package as if it was a coveted object. Harveys wife threatened him that she will personally dispose of the brain as it just freaked her out. Author Burrell gives examples of accounts that show the strange places the brain had been taken or kept.
The Strange Afterlife Of Einstein’s Brain
Einstein’s death 60 years ago was just the start of a strange journey for the most prized part of his anatomy, his brain. Stored in jars and on slides, it is still inspiring awe and scholarly research.
At 01:15 in the morning of 18 April 1955, Albert Einstein – theoretical physicist, peace campaigner and undisputed genius – mumbled a few words in German, took two breaths, and died. The nurse on duty at Princeton Hospital did not speak German and the meaning of Einstein’s final words was lost forever.
Einstein’s cremation took place later that day in Trenton, New Jersey, but the following day his son, Hans Albert, learned that the body in the coffin had not been intact. A front-page article in the New York Times reported that “the brain that worked out the theory of relativity and made possible the development of nuclear fission” had been removed “for scientific study”.
The pathologist who conducted the autopsy, Dr Thomas Harvey, had gone further than simply identifying the cause of death – a burst aorta. He had sawed open Einstein’s cranium and removed its celebrated contents.
“He had some big professional hopes pinned on that brain,” says Carolyn Abraham, who met Harvey while researching her book Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein’s Brain. “I think he had hoped to make a name for himself in medicine in a way that he had been unable to do. And then he comes to work one morning and finds Albert Einstein on his autopsy table.”
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