John Nash Biography

John Nash (June 13, 1928 – present) is a brilliant mathematician, specializing in economics. He was born n Westfield, West Virginia, into a family of three, he, his father – an electrical engineer, and his mother – a school teacher who pushed him to do many great things that led to his superb education and extraordinary mind. As a child, he had a quiet and withdrawn personality, but was very intelligent. He started reading at four, skipped a grade, and even learned Latin, all of which his mother pressed on him.

As he grew up, he became aware of how smart he was and could be seen by some as being arrogant and an introvert.

In his eyes, extracurricular activity such as music and sports were a waste of time and distracted him from his math and science studies. Starting in the fourth grade, his aptitude for mathematics became evident when he would solve complicated problems easily in front of the teachers’ eyes. Nash went to Carnegie Institute of Technology under a George Westinghouse Scholarship, with a George Westinghouse Award, which was only given to ten people.

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He studied chemical engineering, but disliked it and switched to chemistry. From chemistry, he switched again to mathematics to where he found his passion.

He ended up with a Masters Degree and a Bachelor Degree in mathematics. Harvard University accepted him, but the chairman of Princeton University wrote him and persuaded him. The proximity to home was what pushed him over to go to Princeton. Not long after he got there, he got into a field of strategizing – called game theory.

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Game theory is the study of making decisions that affect the outcome of all the players in the game, while similarly, a decision made by any other player in the game will affect your outcome as well. He also created a theory known as the Nash equilibrium, which applied to game theory.

The definition of Nash equilibrium is a situation in which if one player changes his or her decision, but all the other players in the game keep their decisions, the outcome will still be the same. Back in his time, people did not recognize his theory, but as decades passed, his theory grew to be famous. This theory is useful in determining war strategies and predictions of evolution. For this, he received a Nobel Memorial Prize in 1994 for Economic Sciences. At 23 years old, he went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He impregnated a nurse, Eleanor Stier but did not father the child. 6 years later, he married Alicia Larde.

In 1958, he was in Fortune magazine as one of the top mathematicians of the world. After he impregnated Alicia, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital. After his release, he went to Europe to cancel his U. S. citizenship, but Alicia deported him back and put him under insulin-coma therapy for his illness. Alicia left him in 1962, so Nash began talking with Eleanor and their son, John David. In 1970, Alicia allowed him to live with him and his illness slowly faded. Alicia and Nash remarried in 2000 and he is currently working in Princeton, studying mathematics.

Updated: May 20, 2021
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John Nash Biography. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

John Nash Biography essay
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