Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Germany. His family moved to Munich when he was six weeks old and he began attending classes at the Luitpold Gymnasium. A few years later, his family moved to Italy and Albert continued his studies at a school in Aarua, Switzerland.
From 1896 to 1901, he studied physics and mathematics at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich. After getting his diploma, he started working as a technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office. He took classes on the side, earning his Master's degree in 1905.
In 1903, he had married his girlfriend Mileva Maric. The couple produced a daughter and two sons, but divorced in 1919 when Albert married his cousin, Elsa Lowenthal, who died in 1936.
During his time at the Patent Office, Albert produced some of his most famous ideas and was appointed as the Privatdozent in Berne in 1908. The next year, he was appointed Professor Extraordinary in Zurich and in 1911, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Prague. A year later, he moved back to Zurich for another theoretical physics teaching job.
Albert's academic career was very prestigious. In 1914, he was made Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute and a Professor in the University of Berlin. He was shortly after given German citizenship and stayed there until 1933. By that time, Hitler had seized power and begun intensifying the anti-Jewish sentiment. Albert renounced his citizenship and moved to the United States, taking up a position as Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton University. He was given American citizenship in 1940 and retired in 1945. Among his political achievements during that time, Albert worked towards establishing peace throughout the world and was even offered the job of president of Israel, but declined.
Albert described his process of developing solutions to physics problems as completing small steps, eventually reaching the final solution.
During his investigation of Newtonian mechanics, Albert discovered their inadequacy and developed the special theory of relativity in an attempt to connect the laws of mechanics with the laws of electromagnetism. His future research produced an explanation of Brownian movement of molecules and the photoelectric effect. His ideas showed that matter and energy could be transformed from one to the other and that time as well as motion, was relative.
Albert received worldwide recognition for his theories and numerous awards. He lectured throughout the world on topics of science and politics, helping to bring his sometimes complicated ideas to the masses. Among his awards were the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London and the Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute.
Albert died on April 18, 1955 in his home at Princeton, New Jersey. Today he is remembered as one of the greatest minds in history.