Albert Einstein was the son of Hermann and Pauline Einstein, a secular, middle-class Jewish couple. Albert was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany, a small town less than 100 miles from Munich.
Hermann Einstein ran an electrical engineering company with his brother, Jakob. When the business failed, Hermann opened an electrical engineering company on his own. He ran the company until his death from heart failure on Oct. 10, 1902. He was 55.
Pauline Einstein was a well-educated woman with an interest in the arts. She insisted that Albert take violin lessons at the young age of 5. At first Albert vigorously objected, but in time he developed a passion for music. Pauline died from cancer on Feb. 20, 1920.