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Surprising Facts That You Never Knew About Albert Einstein

While most of us know Albert Einstein was a genius, and a revolutionary mind in the field of physics, there are many lesser known facts about him that might surprise you! 

Einstein and The Atomic Bomb

Albert Einstein was a pacifist, but he set aside his beliefs when he learned that German scientists in the late 1930s were working on an atomic bomb. 

He and others urged the then U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt to fund research into developing an atom bomb. Why? Because at the cusp of World War II, the idea of Nazi Germany having a weapon of such unprecedented power uncontested was very fearsome. However, Einstein later regretted his decision to inform the president of his worries, after he came to see just how powerful and destructive the finished product was.


Einstein was watched carefully by the FBI. In fact, they had a file over 1,000 pages long about him! As an intellectual coming to the United States with beliefs in civil rights, pacifism, and other left-wing ideals, he was a prime candidate of concern for the FBI at the time. 

Clothing Choices

Einstein was not one to worry about fashion. Especially later in life, he would wear variations of the same gray suit every day. This freed him from having to expend precious thinking time on figuring out what to wear. 

Failed Math Classes

Einstein, contrary to popular belief, did not fail math classes during his childhood years. He was actually known to be a good student who scored highly on his exam. However, he did drop out of school at age 15 in the effort to get out of Germany and avoid mandatory military service. 

Academic Appointment

It was not easy for Einstein to get a job in the academic field. This is probably hard to believe, it is Albert Einstein after all! While brilliant, he also had a tendency to skip classes when in school, and was somewhat of a rebel. This did not impress the people who would later be responsible for hiring him, which led to him working at a patent office to make ends meet. 

Einstein himself liked this job, because the work did not require a lot of thoughtful effort, freeing his mind to think. He would write and research when not working. 

First Wife

Einstein married the sole woman in his physics class when enrolled at Zurich Polytechnic. A bright woman with an interest in mathematics and physics was a great match for him. The two had three children before they eventual divorce.

First Cousin

Albert Einstein’s second wife was technically his first cousin! He left his first wife and began a relationship with her. In fact, this second wife, Elsa, even had Einstein as her maiden name. 

President of Israel

Believe it or not, in 1952, Einstein himself was asked to assume the role of the president of Israel! He declined, but the extension of the offer itself is a huge accomplishment on its own. 

The Brain

When Albert Einstein passed away, he wanted to be cremated. The pathologist who performed his autopsy, however, decided to take his brain in the hopes of understanding how Einstein got his genius. A descendant of Einstein eventually gave consent for the brain to be studied, albeit reluctantly, considering the brain had been stolen in the first place. 

Analyses showed that his brain’s folds (we all have folds in our brains) were unique in a region called the parietal lobe. This was significant because this part of the brain is known to be involved in spatial reasoning and math. 

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