The great Irish playwright and writer was admired by many, perhaps not as much as by Albert Einstein. Calling him the "Voltaire" of his day, Einstein considered Shaw to be one of the great writers of his time.
He said of his favorite writer, "Shaw is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest figures. I once said of him that his plays remind me of Mozart. There is not one superfluous word in Shaw's prose, just as there is not one superfluous note in Mozart's music."
Einstein greatly admired Roosevelt, penning a letter to him that would lay out the realities of the atomic bomb and even visiting him on several occasions, for both business and pleasure.
He said of the American President of World War II, "The burden he carried was heavy, but his sense of humor gave him an inner freedom seldom found among those who are constantly faced with the most critical decisions. He was unbelievably bound and determined to attain his final goals, yet amazingly flexible in overcoming the strong resistance any far-sighted statesman faces in a democratic country."
Einstein loved Tolstoy, too. He considered his philosophy and writing to be of the utmost quality, and often quoted his work.
He said of the great Russian novelist, "I doubt if there has been a true moral leader of worldwide influence since Tolstoy...He remains in many ways the foremost prophet of our time...There is no one today with Tolstoy's deep insight and moral force."
We can thank Newton for an entire brand of physics, so Einstein has plenty to gush about. He even kept a framed portrait of Sir Isaac Newton in his office.
Needless to say, Einstein loved Newton: "His clear and wide-ranging ideas will retain their unique significance for all time as the foundation of our whole modern conceptual structure in the sphere of natural philosophy."
Neils Bohr is most famous for his discoveries in quantum physics, for which he won a Nobel Prize in 1922. Einstein admired the man greatly, as the two spent a lot of time together discussing science and life.
Einstein said to his friend, "Not often in my life has a person given me such joy by his presence as you have...I'm studying your great papers now, and when I get stuck somewhere I have the pleasure of seeing your kindly, boyish face before me, smiling and explaining."
Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin were famous friends, after the two met at one of Chaplin's movie premieres.
Einstein said of his celebrity friend after visiting him in Hollywood, "He had set up a Japanese theater in his home, with authentic Japanese dances being performed by Japanese girls. Just as in his films, Chaplin is an enchanting person."
Immanuel Kant's contributions to 18th century philosophy are most notable for his a priori approach, which essentially studies a rational argument independent from personal experiences. This brand of philosophy was obviously attractive to a man of science like Einstein.
Einstein said of the famous philosopher, "What seems to me the most important thing in Kant's philosophy is that it speaks of a priori concepts for the construction of science."
As a noted pacifist, Einstein admired Mahatma Gandhi a great deal. He talked about his hunger strike in interviews quite often, both applauding his zeal while questioning his effectiveness.
Einstein said of his spiritual role model, "A leader of his people, unsupported by any outward authority: a politician whose success rests not upon craft or the mastery of technical devices, but simply on the convincing power of his personality; a victorious fighter who has always scorned the use of force; a man of wisdom and humility, armed with resolve and inflexible consistency, who has devoted all his strength to the uplifting of his people and the betterment of their lot; a man who has confronted the brutality of Europe with the dignity of the simple human being, and thus at all times risen superior. Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth."
The President between war-ending Truman and civil rights-advocate Kennedy, Eisenhower was perhaps overshadowed by those around him. Still, Einstein greatly admired the tenacity and peacefulness of this great general President.
He said of his fearless leader, "Eisenhower said on the radio, 'One can't win peace with military might.' I found this remarkable. Eisenhower is good--he is advising Americans not to get mixed up in Chinese politics.
Sigmund Freud, considered by many to be the father of psychoanalysis, caused quite a stir in the early 20th century. While the two doctors operated on very different sides of science, they still admired each other greatly.
Einstein said to the radical psychologist, "You have earned my gratitude and the gratitude of all men for having devoted all your strength to the search for truth and for having shown the rarest courage in professing your convictions all your life."
Of course the great Albert Einstein admired the great Galileo Galilei, the grandfather of physics.
Einstein said of his predecessor, "The discovery and use of scientific reasoning by Galileo was one of the most important achievements in the history of human thought, and marks the real beginning of physics."
Marie Curie, best known for her breakthrough research in radioactivity, was a controversial figure in the science world simply because of her womanhood. But Albert Einstein was not a prejudiced man, and he saw beyond the public's gossip and recognized Curie's genius for what it was.
He said of his peer in 1934 at a memorial celebration, "Her strength, her purity of will, her austerity toward herself, her objectivity, her incorruptible judgment--all these were of a kind seldom found in a single individual...Once she had recognized a certain way as a right one, she pursed it withoutcompromise and with extreme tenacity."
The English discoverer of electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis was no stranger to Einstein, who regularly referenced his work when talking to friends.
He said of the great chemist, "This man loved mysterious Nature as a lover loves his distant beloved...[in Faraday's day] there did not yet exist the dull specialization that, through horn-rimmed glasses and arrogance, destroys the poetry."
Of course Einstein appreciated the great work of Nikolai Tesla, as they both operated in their respective scientific fields during the early 20th century.
Celebrating his friend's 75th birthday, Einstein toasted, "I am happy that, as you celebrate your 75th birthday, you, as an eminent pioneer in the realm of high-frequency currents, have been able to witness the wonderful technical advancements enabled by this field. I congratulate you on the great success of your life's work."
As the first astronomer to properly explain planetary movement, Kepler is a huge name in physics. Einstein considered him a scientific hero, often praising his work and life.
He said of the astronomer, "There we meet a finely sensitive person, passionately dedicated to the search for a deeper insight into the essence of natural events, who, despite internal and external difficulties, reached his loftily placed goal."