John Nash "A Beautiful Mind"

John Forbes Nash Jr. (born June 13, 1928) is a mathematician who worked in game theory and differential geometry. He shared the 1994 Nobel Prize for economics with two other game theorists, Reinhard Selten and John Harsanyi.

 

After a promising start to his mathematical career, Nash began to suffer from schizophrenia around his 30th year, an illness from which he has only recovered some 25 years later.  John Nash was born in Bluefield, West Virginia, as son of John Nash Sr. and Virginia Martin. His father was an electro-technician; his mother a language teacher. As a young boy he spent much time reading books and experimenting in his room, which he had converted into a laboratory. 

 

Sylvia Nasar in 1970 said she wrote A Beautiful Mind because it was a great story -- the most amazing story she ever encountered as a reporter. Her depiction of John Forbes Nash Jr., a brilliant mathematician diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at age 30, led to the making of the movie of the same name. Mental health experts say the combination of the two has contributed to an unprecedented national dialogue about the disorder.

 

The movie is quite different from Nasar's book, which runs 390 pages and includes hundreds of footnotes. The movie leaves out a lot of Nasar's detailed material on Nash's background, his wife's background and his illness. The movie also leaves out Nash's sexual ambivalence, his relationship with the mother of his first son and the eventual diagnosis of schizophrenia in his second son. The book talks about the voices that plagued Nash. By necessity, the movie shows people "speaking" to him.