Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman's Daughter!

What's life like when your father is "The Smartest Man in the World" and has a Nobel Prize to prove it? Michelle Feynman, daughter of the famous physicist Richard Feyman, tells us:

When I was very young, I thought my father knew everything. Indeed, a prominent magazine once declared him “The Smartest Man in the World.” Upon hearing this, his mother threw up her hands and exclaimed, “If Richard is the smartest man in the world, God help the world!” My father was the first one to laugh. [...]

Despite his success, my father encouraged an irreverent attitude toward himself. Our dinner conversations were full of tales about mistakes he made during the day: losing his sweater, having conversations with people and not remembering their names. On Sunday mornings, he would often forgo reading the newspaper in favor of a wild hour of loud, often discordant music, drumming, and storytelling with my brother and me. When it was his turn to drive the car pool to elementary school, he would pretend to get lost. “No, not that way!” all the kids would scream. “Oh, all right. Is it this way?” and he would turn the wrong way again. “Nooooooo!” we would yell in utter panic.

Read the rest over at Discover Magazine: Link


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