Kurt Godel was a mathematical genius who starved to death
Kurt Godel was an Austrian-born American mathematician, logician, and philosopher. He was responsible for the development of the most celebrated mathematical result of the 20th century, the “Godel’s proof”, which also made him one of the greatest logicians since Aristotle. Pretty amazing accomplishments, right? Unfortunately, behind the brilliant man was a troubled mind, here are some of the most unbelievable details about the life of Godel:
Godel practically lived a life of isolation
Apart from completely focusing on this theoretical work, Godel had distanced himself from the world. He rarely connected with other people and was known to be extremely cautious and private. He was also known to be extremely sensitive to criticism which was probably why he published very few of his work. Godel’s isolation was even fueled by his dislike of traveling. Apparently, the math genius had declined conferment of honorary degrees since accepting them meant that he had to travel.
Godel and Einstein were close friends
After the publication of incompleteness theorem, Kurt Godel had given lectures at Princeton extensively where he met Albert Einstein. Since both men shared the same cultural background, the two intellectuals saw and talked with each other regularly until Einstein passed away in 1955. It was said that Einstein once told a colleague that he visited the institute not so for his work but to be able to walk home with Godel.
Godel married a nightclub dancer
Godel met Adele Nimbursky at a nightclub in 1927. Apart from being a nightclub dancer, Adelle was also a divorcee who was six years older than Godel. However, despite their obvious difference in social background and opposition from his family, Godel married Adele in 1938 before they left to live in the U.S.
Godel developed delusions later in life causing his untimely death
Later in life, Godel suffered from delusions of persecution causing him to avoid eating any food unless his wife prepared or tasted them for fear of being poisoned. When Adele was hospitalized for six months in 1977 and unable to care for him, he refused to eat until he was admitted into Princeton Hospital where he eventually died of “malnutrition and inanition caused by personality disturbance” on January 14, 1978.