Albert Einstein told his family before his death in April 1955 that he did not want to be studied. However, a medical examiner seized his brain for research just hours after he died.
Albert Einstein thought he was dying when he was brought to the hospital in 1955. But the 76-year-old renowned German physicist was prepared, and he told his doctors with the precision of a math equation that he did not want to be treated.
He stated, “I want to go whenever I want.” “It’s unappealing to artificially extend life. I’ve done my part, and now it’s time for me to leave. “I’ll do it gracefully.”
Albert Einstein left an incomparable legacy when he died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm on April 18, 1955. The frizzy-haired scientist had become a 20th-century hero, having befriended Charlie Chaplin, eluded Nazi Germany as tyranny loomed, and pioneered an altogether new physics model.
Einstein was so adored that his exceptional brain was taken from his body just hours after he died — and is still kept in a jar in a doctor’s office. Though his life has been meticulously documented, Albert Einstein’s death and what happened to his brain after his death is worth looking into.
Before His Demise Einstein was A renowned Scientist
Einstein was born in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. Einstein was just another aimless middle-class Jew with secular parents until developing his theory of general relativity in 1915 and winning the Nobel Peace Prize for Physics six years later.
Einstein recalled two “wonders” that had a profound impact on him as a child. The first was when he was five years old and came into contact with a compass. This sparked a lifelong curiosity with the universe’s unseen forces. His second memory is of discovering a geometry book when he was 12 years old, which he affectionately referred to as his “holy little geometry book.”
Around the same period, one of Einstein’s teachers famously told the restless adolescent that he would be nothing.
Einstein’s interest in electricity and light intensified as he grew older, and he graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1900. Einstein struggled to get a research position despite his curious personality and academic credentials.
After years of coaching children, Einstein’s long-time friend’s father recommended him for a job as a clerk in a patent office in Bern. The employment provided Einstein with the financial security he required to marry his long-term lover, with whom he had two children. Meanwhile, in his leisure time, Einstein proceeded to create hypotheses about the universe.
He was first overlooked by the physics world, but he gained a reputation through attending conferences and international gatherings. Finally, in 1915, Einstein finished his general theory of relativity, and he was whisked across the world as a celebrated thinker, shaking shoulders with academics and Hollywood stars alike.
“The people applaud me because everybody understands me, and they applaud you because no one understands you,” Charlie Chaplin once told him. Einstein then reportedly asked him what all of this attention meant. Chaplin replied, “Nothing.
When World War I broke out, Einstein spoke out against Germany’s nationalist fanaticism. As World War II loomed, Einstein and his second wife, Elsa Einstein, moved to America to evade Nazi persecution. By 1932, the Nazi movement had declared Einstein’s theories to be “Jewish physics,” and the country had condemned his work.
However, Einstein was welcomed at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey. Until his death two decades later, he toiled and pondered the world’s secrets here.
What Caused Einstein’s Death
Einstein was preparing a speech for a televised appearance marking the State of Israel’s seventh anniversary on his final day when he suffered an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), a condition in which the body’s major blood vessel (the aorta) becomes too large and bursts. Einstein had previously suffered from a similar illness, which he had surgically corrected in 1948. He, on the other hand, declined surgery this time.
Some suggested that Albert Einstein’s death could have been linked to a case of syphilis when he died. According to one doctor who was friends with Einstein and wrote about his death, AAA can be caused by syphilis, a condition that some speculated Einstein caught because he was “a passionately sexual person.”
In the examination that followed Einstein’s death, however, no sign of syphilis was discovered in his body or brain.
However, another element that may have contributed to Albert Einstein’s death was his lifelong smoking habit. Another study found that men who smoked were 7.6 times more likely to have a fatal AAA. Despite the fact that Einstein’s doctors advised him to quit smoking several times throughout his life, he only did so for a short period of time.
His Stolen Brain
Without the approval of Einstein’s family, the doctor who did the autopsy on the body of one of the world’s most brilliant man removed his brain and took it home hours after he died.
Dr. Thomas Harvey was convinced that Einstein’s brain needed to be investigated because he was one of the world’s most intelligent individuals. Despite the fact that Einstein had given instructions to be cremated upon his death, his son Hans eventually gave Dr. Harvey his blessing, indicating that he, too, believed in the necessity of studying a genius’s mind.
Harvey meticulously photographed the brain and sliced it into 240 pieces, some of which he gave to other academics and one of which he attempted to send to Einstein’s granddaughter in the 1990s but she declined. Harvey is said to have carried brain tissue across the country in a cider box placed under a beer fridge.
He wrote a report in 1985 about Einstein’s brain, claiming that it looked different from the typical brain and so functioned differently. Later study has debunked these beliefs, while other experts believe Harvey’s work was correct.
Meanwhile, Harvey’s medical license was revoked in 1988 due to incompetence.