Albert Einstein was married to Elsa Lowenthal for 17 years. Albert Einstein was married to Elsa Lowenthal for 17 years. Albert Einstein was married to Elsa Lowenthal for 17 years. (Photo: Wikimedia)

4 surprising facts about Elsa Einstein

Albert Einstein's second wife was the famous scientist's more practical half.

If you've been watching “Genius” on NatGeo, you'd know that a very important woman embedded herself in Albert Einstein's life in 1919. That's when the famous physicist married Elsa Lowenthal, a woman who was a huge help to the scientist over the years.

The real Elsa knew Albert pretty well; she was his first cousin after all (not weird back then). And if you want to know more about her ...

She had a brain for business.

Actor Charlie Chaplin and physicist Albert Einstein went to the premiere of Chaplin's "City Lights" in Los Angeles in 1931.Albert Einstein (left) and his wife Elsa (right) went to the premiere of 'City Lights' in Los Angeles in 1931 with its star Charlie Chaplin (center). (Photo: Hebrew University Jerusalem)

Albert was a stereotypical head-in-the-clouds scientist — actually, he may have invented the stereotype — but Elsa was much more practical. She managed her husband's business affairs and accompanied him on trips around the world.

In fact, a big part of Albert's fame may be due to Elsa's keen business sense. Coming up with a world-changing theory or two may have gotten his foot in the fame door, but being friendly with the press and able to keep track of business engagements is what pushed the door open, and Elsa was a big part of that.


She and Albert were friends as kids.

A boy and a girl playing on the beach in IsraelThese kids playing on the Mediterranean in Israel are probably enjoying a nicer beach than German-born Albert and Elsa ever experienced as kids. (Photo: Ari Bronstein/Flickr)

Their moms were sisters, and their dads were cousins, so the two saw a lot of each other as children.

She grew up in Hechingen, Germany, but her family would visit Munich, where she'd play with her cousin. She called him "Albertle," which we at From the Grapevine think is adorable.


She scared people away on purpose.

A man and a woman in scary Halloween makeupThis is how we like to imagine Elsa dressed up to scare people. (Photo: CREATISTA/Shutterstock)

Albert was inundated with attention, most of which he wanted to avoid. That's where practical-minded Elsa came in. She was his gatekeeper, and she'd scare away unwanted visitors.


Albert wrote her constantly.

This picture from 1933 shows Albert Einstein and his second wife Elsa at a California resort.This picture from 1933 shows Albert Einstein and his second wife Elsa at a California resort. (Photo: /AFP/Getty Images)

Albert traveled a lot, but he would still write Elsa all the time about some pretty personal things. That's actually where a lot of Albert's famous quotes about love come from.

"Soon I'll be fed up with the (theory of) relativity," Albert wrote to Elsa in a postcard in 1921. "Even such a thing fades away when one is too involved with it."

MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: Albert Einstein

comments powered by Disqus