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You're reading: Digital Tonto: Triumphant tales of heartbreaking desperation

Near the turn of the century, the son of a well-to-do industrialist, recently graduated from university, found himself poorly married, with a young child and unemployed. He fell into a deep depression, became nearly suicidal and wrote to his sister in a letter:

-What depresses me most is the misfortune of my poor parents who have not had a happy moment for so many years. What further hurts me deeply is that as an adult man, I have to look on without being able to do anything. I am nothing but a burden to my family…It would be better off if I were not alive at all.-

His father would pass away a few years later. By that time, the young Albert Einstein did find work as a lowly government clerk. Soon after, in 1905, heunleashed four papers in quick succession that would change the world. It was an accomplishment so remarkable that it is now referred to as his miracle year.

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