Born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany, Albert Einstein grew up in a secular, middle-class Jewish family. His father, Hermann Einstein, was a salesman and engineer who, with his brother, founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a company that manufactured electrical equipment in Munich, Germany. His mother, the former Pauline Koch, ran the family household. Einstein had one sister, Maja, born two years after him.
Einstein attended elementary school at the Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich, where he excelled in his studies. He enjoyed classical music and played the violin. However, he felt alienated and struggled with the rigid Prussian education he received there. He also experienced a speech difficulty, a slow cadence in his speaking where he’d pause to consider what to say next. In later years, Einstein would write about two events that had a marked effect on his childhood. One was an encounter with a compa
In 1889, the Einstein family invited a poor medical Polish medical student, Max Talmud to come to their house for Thursday evening meals. Talmud became an informal tutor to young Albert, introducing him to higher mathematics and philosophy. One of the books Talmud shared with Albert was a children’s science book in which the author imagined riding alongside electricity that was traveling inside a telegraph wire. Einstein began to wonder what a light beam would look like if you could run alongsid
In 1894, Hermann Einstein’s company failed to get an important contract to electrify the city of Munich and he was forced to move his family to Milan, Italy. Albert was left at a boarding house in Munich to finish his education at the Luitpold Gymnasium. Alone, miserable, and repelled by the looming prospect of military duty when he turned of age, Albert withdrew from school using a doctor’s note to excuse him and made his way to Milan to join his parents. His parents sympathized with his feelin