World-renowned theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein has been and always will be a household name. From his struggles in school to his journey to fame, this genius was not always living in fortune.
At the time of his death, it is said that Einstein had an estimated net worth of $1.25 million in 1955. If we factor in inflation, that would equate to $11 million today. For someone who is still so relevant today, that seems awfully low.
As a boy Albert found it hard to enjoy school, even though he excelled at math and science, he struggled with other subjects. This meant staying back a year to finish up, in order to be accepted to a prestigious college in Zürich.
Something Creative Lurks
After finishing high school, he went onto the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, or “Swiss Federal Institute of Technology”. During this time he made many good friends, as well as meeting his future wife, Mileva Maric.
After graduation, Einstein found it particularly hard to obtain a letter of recommendation from his professors. It seemed that due to his frequent tardiness, none of the professors were willing to help him out.
This truly put his plans on hold, causing him to struggle mentally and financially for a while. Without a letter of recommendation, he couldn’t find a company that would hire him.
By 1902 the aspiring physicist was depressed and at an all-time low. Yearning to marry Maric, without a job and an income, this wasn’t going to be possible.
Just when it seemed like all hope was lost, he received a recommendation from the father of an old friend. This allowed him to start working as a clerk in a Swiss patent office in Bern.
This was his first steady income, as small as it may have been, it gave him the freedom to marry Maric and start a family. A few years later he published four papers, revolutionizing the world of physics.
World-Renowned and Counting
After Max Planck, the founder of Quantum Theory read Einstein’s papers, he was intrigued by what he had proposed. This relationship acted as a stamp of approval on his allegations, making the world see him differently.
This was the first time his theories had been taken seriously and people from all over the world wanted to hear more about it. It even prompted many universities and institutions to request him as a professor.
The sought after physicist finally accepted an offer from the University of Berlin, as the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics from 1913 to 1933.
This career jump significantly changed his financial standing, the exact number is unknown. After his marriage fell apart, he even offered to give Maric the money he would win, if he won a Nobel Prize.
It is said that in 1933 Einstein had a salary of $10,000, which would be about $178,000 today. This would make him the highest-paid scientist in his field.
This was because the budding scientist had already proven himself within the industry when he took the job. Compared to other scientists who found fame after their relationships with educational institutions started.
At the start of the First World War, Albert Einstein was one of only four intellectuals to sign against Germany entering into war. He later wrote, “At such a time as this, one realizes what a sorry species of animal one belongs to”.
Set for Life
To this day Einstein’s work continues to win Nobel Prizes. He even has sayings named after him, by people referring to other intelligent individuals as “Einsteins”.
In 1996, a company was formed called, “Baby Einstein”. This company grew to be a multi-million dollar company, helping children grow intellectually.
Because the company was named after Albert Einstein, royalties had to be paid to his estate. This meant that Einstein was one of the top five most wealthy dead celebrities of all time.
Even though he doesn’t have any family to leave his fortune to, some speculate that Einstein donated it to educational institutes that had significant meaning to him.