Few scientists get to see their work being recognized and acknowledged during their lifetime; most get their due when they are long gone. Albert Einstein was among the lucky ones who got global recognition and celebrity status due to his work.
While most people love the spotlight to be on them, Einstein preferred not getting the public exposure he was getting. At the peak of his popularity in 1930’s, he got letters and requests for autographs from all over the world, including United States of America. Though he disliked the entire exercise, he started charging 3 dollars for an autograph and 5 dollars for one on a picture. In fact, he is known to have given interviews to radio stations, charging them thousands of dollars. Diligent accounts were maintained of all these earnings by his wife Elsa which were then given away for charitable causes.
When the world was being torn apart by wars and hatred, Einstein was busy supporting many a humanitarian causes. He opposed religious and racial discrimination, and was a staunch preacher of peace. He believed in doing all the good one can for their fellow human beings. He once said of charitable giving, “More and more I come to value charity and love of one’s fellow being above everything else…All our lauded technological progress-our very civilization-is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal.
Source: Albert Einstein: The Life of a Genius
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