The Life of John Nash

Image Source: The New York Times

John Nash is also addressed as John Forbes. Nash Jr. was one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century who suffered from schizophrenia. He was born in Bluefield, West Virginia. He was a genius.

John was honored with the 1994 Nobel Prize for Economics. He was the man behind the remarkable work of game theory, real algebraic geometry, differential geometry, and partial differential equations.

His father, whom he was named after, was an electrical engineer originally from Texas and a veteran of World War I. His mother was Margaret Virginia, a student at West Virginia University and a school teacher before her marriage to Nash’s father. She suffered partial hearing loss due to an infection from scarlet fever. Nash also had a sister, Martha, who was two and a half years younger than him.

Nash had a great mind; by the time he was in high school, he was reading the classic “Men of Mathematics” by E.T. Bell, and he even succeeded in proving the classic Fermat Theorem. His application to the Princeton Doctoral Program in Math was supported by a one-line letter that said, “This man is a genius.”

Nash worked all his life to contribute to various intellectual pursuits. He was awarded the Nobel Prize. This might seem like the perfect life story of a genius, but great things come at a great cost. John’s life was difficult, and it was more difficult than is recorded anywhere.

Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly

represented his and Alicia Nash’s lives in the 2001 film “A Beautiful Mind.” Additionally, the film received Academy Award nominations, proving that Nash was truly exceptional. Nash was diagnosed with “schizophrenia” or “paranoid schizophrenia” not long after his marriage, which interfered with his ability to pursue intellectual interests. When John’s mental health began to decline, Alicia Nash was expecting Nash was experiencing paranoia and believed that everyone wearing a red tie was a Russian communist who was plotting to harm him.

Schizophrenia was determined to be the cause of his paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and increased sociality.

In psychiatric hospitals, he received insulin shock therapy and antipsychotic drugs for nine years. His mental health improved as he led a peaceful life with enough social support and people who tolerated his oddities. After 1970, he stopped taking medication. His family and friends provided him with the support that he needed.

For Nash Equilibria, Nash received the John von Neumann Theory Prize in 1978. He was awarded the Economic Sciences Nobel Prize in 1994. In 1999, he received the Leroy P. Steele Award. After receiving the Abel Prize in 2015, Nash and his wife were killed in an automobile accident. They were traveling back home from Norway after receiving the Abel Prize.

John’s life was tragic and inspirational. We live in an advanced time, but still, people suffering from mental health issues are equated with being insane. Nash proved many things in life, which included proving wrong the idea that mental illnesses cannot be used synonymously with intellectual disability. Nash had paranoid schizophrenia, for which he was treated, but he was simply one of the greatest minds that the world has known. He was an inspiration on uncountable levels.

“John’s remarkable achievements inspired generations of mathematicians, economists, and scientists,” the president of Princeton, Christopher L. Eisgruber, said on Sunday, “and the story of his life with Alicia moved millions of readers and moviegoers, who marveled at their courage in the face of daunting challenges.”

“I’ve made the most important discovery of my life. It’s only in the mysterious equation of love that any logical reasons can be found. I’m only here tonight because of you. You’re the only reason I am. You’re all my reasons”. John Nash



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