‘Beautiful Mind’ mathematician John Nash killed in crash

US mathematician John Nash, who inspired the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind, has died in a car crash with his wife, police have said.

Nash, 86, and his 82-year-old wife Alicia were killed when their taxi crashed in New Jersey, they said.

The mathematician is renowned for his work in game theory, winning the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994.

His breakthroughs in maths – and his struggles with schizophrenia – were the focus of the 2001 film.

Russell Crowe, who played him, tweeted: “Stunned… My heart goes out to John & Alicia & family. An amazing partnership. Beautiful minds, beautiful hearts.”

The film’s director, Ron Howard, also tweeted his tribute to the “brilliant” John Nash and his “remarkable” wife.

Alicia Nash helped care for her husband, and the two later became prominent mental health advocates.

John Nash and Russell Crowe
Game theorist John Nash (left) was portrayed by Russell Crowe in the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind

The two were thrown from their vehicle, police said. Media reports said the couple may not have been wearing seatbelts when they crashed.

Their taxi driver, and a passenger in another car, were also injured.

‘Genius’

Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, Nash first studied in Pittsburgh before moving to Princeton.

His recommendation letter contained just one line: “This man is a genius.” Nash married Alicia Larde in 1957, after publishing some of his breakthrough works.

But he developed severe schizophrenia soon after, and Alicia had him committed for psychiatric care several times. The couple divorced in 1962.

Nobel Prize winning mathematician John Forbes Nash and his wife Alicia arrive at the 74th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, in this file photo taken March 24, 2002
Nash and his wife attended the Oscars in 2002

“I was disturbed in this way for a very long period of time, like 25 years,” Nash said in an interview on the Nobel website.

The two stayed close, and his condition had begun to improve by the 1980s. They remarried in 2001.

The President of Princeton, Christopher Eisgruber, said he was “stunned and saddened” to hear of their deaths.

“John’s remarkable achievements inspired generations of mathematicians, economists and scientists who were influenced by his brilliant, groundbreaking work in game theory,” he said.

Even this week, Nash received the Abel Prize, another top honour in the field of mathematics.

 

Source: BBC

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