A Beautiful Mind - Preface

A Beautiful Mind (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Famous People History Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs Biographies Film STEM

Photograph of Professor John Nash, Jr. at the 1st Meeting of Laureates in Economic Sciences in Lindau, Germany, September 1-4, 2004.  Image online, courtesy Nobelprize.org.


He is a mathematical genius.

Professor R.J. Duffin
Carnegie Tech 1948 Letter of Recommendation
for John Nash to Princeton University 

John Forbes Nash, Jr. was a child prodigy.

While other boys his age were playing childhood games in their hometown of Bluefield, West Virginia, John was reading E.T. Bell’s Men of Mathematics. Learning more at home than he did at school, the young lad (who was encouraged by his educated parents) was able to solve some of math’s most difficult problems.

Accepting a full-ride fellowship to Princeton University, John Nash was surrounded by some of the best and brightest people working in mathematics and science at the time. Undaunted by the brilliance of people like Albert Einstein, the blossoming genius followed his own path. When he was 21, Nash wrote a doctoral thesis that eventually made him a Nobel Laureate.

But that Nobel Prize came decades after most people had either written off John Nash or thought he was dead. What caused people to think such a thing? The words of Nash himself best describe the unraveling of his brilliant mind: 

...the staff at my university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [where he was teaching], and later all of Boston were behaving strangely towards me...I started to see crypto-communists everywhere...I started to think I was a man of great religious importance, and to hear voices all the time.

I began to hear something like telephone calls in my head, from people opposed to my ideas...The delirium was like a dream, from which I seemed never to awake.

At 30 years of age, John Nash had schizophrenia - a condition from which most afflicted people never recover. 

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"A Beautiful Mind" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 27, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips