Why Einstein is so famous

1 Oct

As a Clevelander, I appreciated this:
“at a dinner in Cleveland, Mrs. Einstein, shrugging her shoulders at what appeared to be an elegant American eccentricity, ate a bouquet of orchids which she found on what seemed to be a salad plate.”


Why did Einstein’s fame burn brighter than any other scientist’s? This article in the New Yorker from 1933 explains it:

The chief agent in making Einstein the idol of the masses was Carr V. Van Anda, the great editor of the period. Van Anda had a genius for compelling millions to make his hobbies their hobbies. Ten years ago, for example, the average American became an amateur Egyptologist because Van Anda was an amateur Egyptologist. Starting with a routine dispatch telling of some promising excavations at Thebes, Van Anda filled the New York Times with endless columns about the Egypt of three thousand years ago and made Tut-ankh-Amen a household word. It had long been one of Van Anda’s journalistic hunches that an unlooted tomb of ancient Egypt would be discovered some day; it was another of his hunches that a flaw might be found in the Newtonian theory. He…

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