John Forbes Nash

Page 1 of 3

John Forbes Nash

By | November 2012
Page 1 of 3
John Forbes Nash, Jr. or Johnny as his family and friends called him was born on June 13, 1928 in Bluefield, West Virginia. Nash was born into a fairly educated family. His father John, Sr. was an electrical engineer and his mother Margaret Virginia, known, as Virginia was a schoolteacher before she married Mr. Nash. Growing up John was quiet and kept to himself. He was very socially awkward, so in school his teachers thought he was odd and would never guess that he was a mathematical genius. John was very bored in school, because the curriculum was easy for him to follow. Since John was not interested in making friends and being social his parents pushed him toward education. Although they did encourage him to join sports and dances, he always refused. Virginia would teach John at home herself, and Nash, Sr. would give Johnny science books instead of coloring books like normal parents.

Johnny first began showing interest in mathematics when he was fourteen years old. No one is sure where he found Bell's Men of Mathematics, but it was one of the first books to challenge his intellect. Nash was ecstatic when he discovered advanced math, unlike the boring stuff from school. He began Bluefield College in 1941. As expected, Johnny took mathematics courses as well as science courses, chemistry being his favorite. Right away Nash began to show that he was very skilled in problem solving. He was clearly good at math however; at that time he did not consider pursuing Mathematics as a career, because during that time it was an unusual profession. Jr. thought that he would be an electrical engineer like his father but instead he continued experimenting and exploring math and science. He once conducted a chemistry experiment that involved making explosives that killed a fellow pupil. Obviously, because of John’s odd personality his classmates thought he was weird and tormented him. In return, John drew weird cartoons of the classmates he did not like; he also tortured...