Of all the scientists to emerge from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries there is one
whose name is known by almost all living people. While most of these do not understand
this man's work, everyone knows that its impact on the world of science is astonishing. Yes,
many have heard of Albert Einstein's General Theory of relativity, but few know about the
intriguing life that led this scientist to discover what some have called, 'The greatest single
achievement of human thought.'
Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1874. Before his first birthday, his family
had moved to Munich where young Albert's father, Hermann Einstein, and uncle set up a
small electro-chemical business. He was fortunate to have an excellent family with which he
held a strong relationship. Albert's mother, Pauline Einstein, had an intense passion for
music and literature, and it was she that first introduced her son to the violin in which he
found much joy and relaxation.
Also, he was very close with his younger sister, Maja, and
they could often be found in the lakes that were scattered about the countryside near
As a child, Einstein's sense of curiosity had already begun to stir. A favorite toy of his was
his father's compass, and he often marvelled at his uncle's explanations of algebra. Although
young Albert was intrigued by certain mysteries of science, he was considered a slow
learner. His failure to become fluent in German until the age of nine even led some teachers
to believe he was disabled.
Einstein's post-basic education began at the Luitpold Gymnasium when he was ten. It was
here that he first encountered the German spirit through the school's strict disciplinary
policy. His disapproval of this method of teaching led to his reputation as a rebel.