The FBI were never really worried about Erdős. One agent just really wanted to be the author of a paper with his name on it,.
I wonder about similar files being kept today…
Is there a erdos fbi number? How many files away are you from erdos file?
He wasn’t an “eccentric scientist from the Soviet sphere”, he was a mathematician. Mathematics is not a branch of science.
According to Wikipedia and the wonderful documentary about him “N is a Number”, “Erdős wrote around 1,525 mathematical articles in his lifetime”… Seems like an important clarification to make seeing as he was one of the most prolific publishers of papers in mathematical history.
A Hungarian born in the early 20th century, Paul Erdős, mathematician, was well-known and well-liked, the sort of eccentric scientist from the Soviet sphere that made Feds' ears perk up in mid-century America
Hungarian immigrants were often the most fanatical of anti-Soviet Cold Warriors, though. His fellow immigrants included Edward Teller (lead creator of the US H-bomb and impractical laser anti-missile defense dreamer) and John von Neumann (pioneering computer scientist who was the originator of the “Mutually Assured Destruction” nuclear strategy and a possible model for Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove).
Besides being a cold warrior, Von Neumann was also a “road warrior” driving accross the country with his wife numerous times every year. Must have really sucked, doing that in the 1940s and 1950s.
I think it was in a PBS documentary, but can’t find it now. He was driving between, I think DC and LANL, somewhere in the ballpark of once a month to hand deliver computational documents for the Manhattan Project.
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