5 Things You Didn't Know About Albert Einstein

Today is March 14th, and that makes it the birthday of Billy Crystal, Michael Caine, and Stephen Curry. But we decided to focus on someone else born today: Albert Einstein. We dug up 5 things we bet you didn't know about Einstein. Ready?


His Brain Was Stolen After His Death After Einstein's death in 1955 from an abdominal aneurysm rupture, an autopsy and several studies were conducted on Einstein's brain. Two interesting discoveries were made: first, Einstein's brain weighed notably less than the average human brain. His weighed 1,230 grams, while the average is 1,400 grams. Second, his parietal lobe (where mathematic thought resides) was 15 percent larger. The pathologist who conducted the autopsy later stole Einstein's brain and was fired from Princeton when he refused to return it (he later did bring it back, but not until 1998). 

That Same Doctor Stole Einstein's Eyeballs, Too. Yep, this guy was a real kleptomaniac when it came to Einstein's body parts. The doctor took Einstein's eyes—sealed in a jar of formaldehyde—and gave them to Einstein's friend and ophthalmologist, Henry Abrams. Abrams stored the eyeballs in a safety deposit box in New Jersey. Though frequent rumors bubbled up that the eyeballs were up for auction, Abrams vehemently denied the claims until his death in 2009. The whereabouts of the eyeballs today are unknown, but presumably, they may still be in that New Jersey bank vault.


Einstein Hated Socks That's right—the man behind one of the most important scientific discoveries in recent history had a big beef with socks. He once bragged to a colleague about rarely wearing them at Oxford and was said to be annoyed by the constant holes that popped up. Whether it was while out sailing or to a formal dinner at the White House, Einstein went without socks everywhere. To Einstein, socks were a pain because they often would get holes in them.

The FBI Spied On Him For Decades J. Edgar Hoover spied on Einstein and had a 1,400-page file on the scientist. Hoover began spying on Einstein shortly after he fled Germany in 1932 to escape the rising Nazi Socialist party. Einstein was a vocal political activist, who denounced nationalism, racism, and even questioned capitalism. His left-wing views put him on Hoover's radar, who believed Einstein could be a communist or even a Soviet spy. Einstein was, of course, neither, but that didn't stop Hoover from ordering agents to listen in on his calls, read his mail, and even sift through his trash for close to two decades.

Einstein Married His First Cousin Einstein’s second wife, Elsa, was not only his first cousin on his mother’s side, but also his second cousin on his father’s side. Cousins marrying each other wasn’t frowned upon at that time. Their fathers were cousins and their mothers were sisters. They both spent their childhood together, forming a strong friendship. She called him “Albertle” when they were young. As adults, they reconnected when Albert moved to Berlin for work. Elsa was living there with her two daughters. She had been recently divorced from her first husband. Albert would visit often. The two began a romantic relationship. And the rest, as they say, is history.