How Did Einstein Spend His Final Years?

In his final years, Einstein worked on his unified field theories, spoke out against racism and other issues, and told jokes to the parrot he received for his 75th birthday. Let’s examine the man who many say was one of the smartest men to ever live.


Einstein and His Final Years

Einstein spent his final years doing what he wanted to do: working, sailing, and enjoying life.

In 1932, Albert Einstein was offered a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and he accepted. He became a resident of the United States in 1935 and was granted citizenship in 1940. He retired from his post at Princeton in 1945. After the first atomic bomb was dropped, he became part of an international effort to control the bomb and formed the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists.

Enjoying the freedom of speech in America, he spoke out about many social and political issues:

  • He joined civil rights organizations and spoke in favor of one world government.
  • He supported the new nation of Israel but was a critic of the excessive violence.
  • He served on the First Board of Governors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem but turned down the post of Israeli President, which was largely ceremonial. He had no desire to be a politician.

On his 75th birthday, a parrot was given to him and he enjoyed telling it jokes. His health was failing by then, so he mostly kept to himself. He enjoyed sailing and music, and often pretended to be ill so he would not have to pose for photographs.

He was still worked on his theories and was working on a speech for the seventh anniversary of the State of Israel the day before going into the hospital. He died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm on April 18, 1955. His ashes were spread on the grounds of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

Albert Einstein's Earlier Years

Einstein was not just a genius, but he was also a humanitarian, philosopher, and author. He is considered the father of modern physics and was called “the greatest Jew alive.”

He was born on March 14, 1879 in Germany. His family later moved to Italy and he studied in Switzerland. He was trained at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich to be a teacher of mathematics and physics. He got his diploma in 1901, and got a job not as a teacher, but as a technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905, he received his Doctorate.

During this time, he worked on his theories and in 1908, was offered the post of Privatdozent in Berne. His other jobs were Professor Extraordinary in Zurich, Professor of Theoretical Physics in Prague, Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute, and Professor in the University of Berlin. In 1914, he became a German citizen.

In 1921, Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel prize in Physics. This was given for his work in theoretical physics and the discovery of the photoelectric effect. His work led to a better understanding of the quantum nature of light and electrons.

Einstein felt that each discovery that was made only served to lead the way for more discoveries. It was this attitude that governed his life and is possibly a reason that Einstein worked through his final years.