United States

How this man made Einstein a household name — and what it means about success

On April 3, 1921, a ship arrived in New York Harbor carrying a German scientist whose work was celebrated in academic circles but unknown to most Americans. His name was Albert Einstein. Several local newspapers sent reporters to the East River pier to cover the arrival. The writers expected little. When they arrived at the East River pier, however, they were shocked to discover a crowd of some 20,000 “cheering themselves hoarse.” Einstein was loaded into an open car and driven in a motorcade up Second Avenue. Thousands lined the streets, cheering and waving handkerchiefs. And with that, Einstein suddenly became front-page news and his legend was made. He went from being a relatively obscure physicist to a celebrity and, ultimate ...