Essays About John Nash

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Insulin shock therapy may have slowed him down a bit, but not much. Mike, my associate producer Trisha Sorrells Doyle, and I met with John and his wife Alicia at a restaurant near Princeton University, where John spent much of his academic career. John insisted this was categorically not true, and he decided he did not want to do an interview.His mathematical discoveries regarding game theory are known and understood by only a small circle of experts, and he spent much of his life in obscurity, largely because of long-term, severe bouts of psychosis.When reporter Sylvia Nasar wrote a detailed biography of John's mathematics work and his schizophrenia, it was not the kind of book you would imagine on the silver screen someday.I reassured John that Mike and I had no interest in his sexuality.But mostly I just sat with them, talking about life and math and family.I spent time with their son Johnny, who is also a mathematician and also suffers from schizophrenia.John introduced me to the art of drinking sherry and would pull out the bottle of Harveys Bristol Cream whenever I stopped by.This began, most recognizably, with the rejection of politically-oriented thinking as essentially a hopeless waste of intellectual effort.Mike Wallace and I did interviews with war criminals, corrupt politicians, and murderers, but one of the most challenging was with a mathematician -- John F.Nash, Jr., the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician, whose lifelong struggle with schizophrenia was the subject of the Oscar-winning film "A Beautiful Mind." John and his wife Alicia died in a taxi accident on Sunday.John Nash was an unlikely subject of a 60 Minutes interview or a major Hollywood picture.


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