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Posted by on Nov 21, 2007

Einstein in Princeton

This is taken from a lovely little website that chronicles Einstein’s time in Princeton, New Jersey. He left Germany a month before Hitler came to power and lived in Princeton from that point on, working at the Institute of Advanced Study. As I mentioned in the previous post, he lived at 112 Mercer Street, which is right around the corner from the campus. The definition of the absent-minded professor, the following exchange is a perfect illustration of a man lost in thought:

Princetonians loved to joke about Einstein as the absent-minded professor. And absent-minded he could be.

Someone once called the dean’s office for directions. “How do I get to Albert Einstein’s home?” the caller asked. When the man at the dean’s office said he couldn’t give out those directions, there was a pause on the other end. Then, a sigh, and a response: “This is Albert Einstein. I got lost walking home from the campus.”

Another anecdote was taken a few years before he died:

Einstein never lost his sense of humor.

The year before he died, he was laughing with Griffin over a letter he got from a Catholic priest friend. The priest wrote that he prayed for Einstein every day through the Virgin Mary — and that Einstein shouldn’t mind, since she was a nice Jewish girl.

The image is taken from Getty Images. In fact, it is a still from home videos of Einstein in Princeton and is well worth a look.

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