In 1952, Albert Einstein declined the presidency of Israel. The position was largely a ceremonial one, but Einstein declined, saying that he lacked both the aptitude and the experience necessary to carry out the official functions of the position.
David Ben-Gurion offered Einstein the position through Abba Eban, who was then serving as Israel's ambassador to the United States. Einstein, who was 73 at the time, also said that his advanced age made him an unsuitable candidate. However, the great scientist made it clear that his connection to the Jewish people was his "strongest human bond." Einstein died in 1955, less than 3 years later. The Israeli presidency eventually went to Yitzhak Ben-Zvi.