As a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and the creator of the world’s most famous equation, Albert Einstein had an impressive resume. But there was one notable title he turned down: President of Israel.
Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, said that Einstein was “the greatest Jew alive.” So, upon Weizmann’s death on November 9, 1952, only one successor seemed a natural fit.
As such, the Embassy of Israel sent a letter to Einstein on November 17, officially offering him the presidency.
He would have to move to Israel, the letter said, but he wouldn’t have to worry about the job being a distraction from his other interests. It was just the presidency, after all.
“The Prime Minister assures me that in such circumstances complete facility and freedom to pursue your great scientific work would be afforded by a government and people who are fully conscious of the supreme significance of your labors,” Abba Ebban, an Israeli diplomat, wrote. But Albert declined!
Sources: All That’s interesting (ATI)