The Berkeley Wire: 04.18.11

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  • Charles_Siegel

    Here is a sad story with a Berkeley connection in today’s NY Times:

    Evelyn Einstein, whose tumultuous life as the granddaughter of Albert Einstein was both defined and limited by her distinguished lineage, died on Wednesday at her home in Albany, Calif. She was 70.

    Ms. Einstein spoke four or five languages and earned degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, including a master’s in medieval literature. But she worked as a dogcatcher, a cult deprogrammer and a police officer. After a bitter divorce, she lived in poverty for three months, sleeping in cars and eating discarded food as a self-described “Dumpster diver.”

    In an interview for the 2000 book “Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across American with Einstein’s Brain” by Michael Paterniti, Ms. Einstein said: “It’s not so easy being an Einstein. When I was in school at Berkeley in the ’60s, I could never tell if men wanted to be with me because of me, or my name. To say, you know, ‘I had an Einstein.’”

    During the 1960s and ’70s, Ms. Einstein was married for 13 years to Grover Krantz, an anthropology professor at Washington State University who became known for trying to prove the existence of Bigfoot. When their marriage broke up, she moved in with her father, but he soon died. A period of homelessness followed, ending when she got a job as a store clerk and moved in with three women in Berkeley.