Born into a Jewish family in 1951, Edward Witten’s birthplace is in Baltimore, Maryland. Witten received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University majoring in history with a minor in linguistics. He attended the University of Wisconsin in pursuit of an economics graduate degree but dropped out. He ended up at Princeton where he ultimately earned his Ph.D. in physics.
After gaining his Ph.D. from Princeton, he worked at Harvard as a Junior Fellow and was a professor at Princeton. He stayed at Princeton from 1980 until 1987. He briefly worked at Caltech before moving on to accept a position in Princeton, New Jersey at the Institute for Advanced Study where he is the Charles Simonyi Professor of Mathematical Physics.
Edward Witten has success all around him. His wife, Chiara Nappi, is a physics professor at Princeton. His brother is Matt Witten who is a producer of various television shows including L.A. Law and House.
Edward Witten was raised in a Jewish family but he doesn’t take religion seriously. He does participate in one widely known organization. An active member of Americans for Peace Now, Witten has served on the board since 1992.
Witten has received various awards and honors including a National Medal of Science and a MacArthur Grant along with a Fields Medal. Perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments Witten will ever receive is a milestone few physicists will ever achieve. He currently has the highest h-index which means he is believed to have the most impact in physics of all living scientists.
Edward Witten made Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people of 2004. He was fifty-three when he received the honor.