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Random Geniuses Who Vanished or Went Into Hiding

  • Thomas Pynchon on Random Geniuses Who Vanished or Went Into Hiding

    (#4) Thomas Pynchon

    • 81

    Like JD Salinger before him, author Thomas Pynchon is one of the world’s most famous reclusive literary geniuses, except Pynchon has maintained a relatively steady output of novels (Against the Day, Inherent Vice, Bleeding Edge) and even film adaptations (Inherent Vice) since his long, post-Gravity’s Rainbow drought in the ‘70s. Despite this, there are only four known photographs of Pynchon in circulation.

    Gravity’s Rainbow earned Pynchon a Pulitzer consideration in 1974 (overruled by the advisory board for being “turgid” and “obscene”), and the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1975, which he declined via letter: “The Howells Medal is a great honor, and, being gold, probably a good hedge against inflation, too. But I don't want it. Please don't impose on me something I don't want.”

    Pynchon has successfully remained out of the public eye his entire career, but he appeared, oddly enough, three times on The Simpsons in animated form. He even sent Executive Producer Matt Selman feedback on his first appearance, cutting a line where he calls Homer a “fat ass.” Pynchon wrote to Selman, “Homer is my role model and I can’t speak ill of him.”

  • Beverley Thorne on Random Geniuses Who Vanished or Went Into Hiding

    (#9) Beverley Thorne

    • 95

    Architect David Thorne received so much attention for his work on jazz giant Dave Brubeck’s house in 1954, he changed his professional name in the ‘60s, got an unlisted phone number, and didn’t “resurface” until the ‘80s. Brubek’s mid-century modern house in Oakland was considered a brilliant early example of the dramatic, steel-supported homes that would later fill the Hollywood hills.

    Tired of attention from rich developers and “crooks,” Thorne changed his professional name to Beverley Thorne and largely dropped out of sight, quietly doing work that went largely unheralded. In the ‘80s, his profile increased on account of work he did in Hawaii. By 2006, he once again began speaking openly about his 1950s work.

  • Genius Chef Nick Gill Decided to Disappear on Random Geniuses Who Vanished or Went Into Hiding

    (#10) Genius Chef Nick Gill Decided to Disappear

    At just 21, Nick Gill was the youngest-ever British chef to win a Michelin star. He seemed destined for a life of fame and fortune, and was hailed as a culinary genius. By the time he disappeared, at 42, he had been jailed for attacking his ex-wife and lost contact with his two young children. He was also, reportedly, a “heavy drinker and drug user.”

    In 1998, he told his older brother, writer and critic AA Gill, “I’m going to go and disappear. Please don’t look for me.” The elder Gill obliged, and Nick hasn’t been seen since. Strangely, a pencil sketch of Nick done by AA showed up for auction at Christie’s in 2014, but AA says it’s not a sign. “I don’t know where it came from. I didn’t pursue it. If Nick wanted to get in touch with me, I’m not hard to find.”

  • J. D. Salinger on Random Geniuses Who Vanished or Went Into Hiding

    (#3) J. D. Salinger

    • Dec. at 91 (1919-2010)

    No list of reclusive geniuses would be complete without Catcher in the Rye author JD Salinger, who famously left Manhattan in 1953 to live on a “90-acre compound” in Cornish, NH. He remained there until his death in 2010, at age 91.

    Salinger's most famous character, Rye protagonist Holden Caulfield, wanted to live in “a little cabin somewhere with the dough [he] made and live there for the rest of [his] life,” far from “any goddam stupid conversation with anybody.” If Caulfield was speaking for Salinger, the author got his wish, for the most part. In his first year in Cornish, he let local kids interview him for the “High School” section of the local paper, but the editors instead gave the interview prominence as a feature. Feeling betrayed, Salinger built a six-and-a-half feet fence around his property.

    Salinger broke his legendary silence in 1973, speaking to the New York Times about his attempts to prevent his uncollected stories from being published without his consent: “Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.”

  • Thumb of Grigori Perelman video

    (#1) Grigori Perelman

    • 52

    Russian math god Dr. Grigori Perelman collected the super-prestigious $1,000,000 Clay Mathematics Institute Millennium Prize in 2010 for proving the Poincaré conjecture, and earned the super-awesome nickname “Mathsputin” for rejecting the prize to continue living in squalor with his probably pissed off mother and sister in St. Petersburg. The Poincaré conjecture states, “Every simply connected, closed 3-manifold is homeomorphic to the 3-sphere,” which you have to admit sounds a bit like rejected Pootie Tang dialogue unless you’re a Good Will Hunting-level math wizard.

    The wild-bearded Perelman, who turned down teaching offers from Princeton and Berkeley, reportedly lives “extremely humbly,” which is wee bit of an understatement: an “astounded” neighbor said in 2010 that Perelman “only has a table, a stool and a bed with a dirty mattress.” Slightly more recent reports indicate Perelman has “all [he] needs,” and just doesn’t want the attention, likening it to being “on display like an animal in a zoo.”

    After Perelman's sudden flight from obscurity to fame, he more or less disappeared from public view, so much so journalists went looking for him. Brett Forrest of British newspaper The Telegraph conducted a stakeout to find the reclusive genius in 2012, and apparently made brief contact with him. Meanwhile, Perelman's Wikipedia page is full of bizarre conjecture like "Some Russian news outlets have indicated that Perelman has had a job in Sweden since 2014" and "In April 2011, Aleksandr Zabrovsky, producer of President-Film studio, claimed to have held an interview with Perelman... A number of journalists believe that Zabrovky's interview is most likely a fake... "

  • Margie Profet on Random Geniuses Who Vanished or Went Into Hiding

    (#7) Margie Profet

    • 60

    Evolutionary biologist Margie Profet spent the '80s and early ‘90s publishing controversial, but influential, work regarding menstruation, morning sickness, and allergies, including the groundbreaking idea that menstruation has a function, and isn’t just a by-product. She won the six-figure MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” prize in 1993. In 2005, still living off the prize, she cut ties with her friends and family, and was considered a missing person.

    Profet, amazingly, resurfaced and reunited with her family in 2012, thanks in large part to a feature in Psychology Today. She said she did not know anyone was looking for her, and had been in “severe physical pain” for years due to an undisclosed illness. She said she didn’t disclose her whereabouts or condition, because she didn’t want to trouble anyone. Unable to work because of the pain, she spent several years in poverty, “sustained largely by the religion she had come to early in the decade.” It’s unclear what that religion is. 

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About This Tool

What is the concept of IQ 167? If your IQ is 167, congratulations, you can be compared with famous historical figures such as Einstein, Hawking, and Bohr. There are geniuses in history who fight for scientific research, and some geniuses were famous for their clever crimes, there are also some geniuses who have puzzled the world because of their mysterious disappearance. People made many speculations about their disappearances. 

The random tool introduced 10 geniuses in history who vanished or went into hiding, their theoretical results have promoted the development of the times and made contributions to research in different fields.

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