When Katherine Graham Met Einstein

By Deane Barker on January 6, 2013

I’m reading Personal History, the autobiography of Katherine Graham. She was the famous editor owner of the Washington Post for more than two decades. In it, she prints this excerpt from a letter she wrote to her father while she was visiting Europe as a pre-teen. I love it.

I suppose Mother has told you that we met Einstein. He was simply grand! His hair is positively a nest and he had on a bright blue sort of “over all” suit, and a pipe in hand. His wife won’t let him smoke cigars.… Their house is very plain but awfully pretty—near a lake. He sails a boat alone. It’s built with a very flat bottom so it won’t tip over when he gets absent minded. When people see his boat running around in circles they know that a new theory is being formed.

If I had a boat and the neighbors saw it “running around in circles,” they would naturally assume I fell overboard. History indicates they would probably be correct.



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