Albert Einstein was born in Germany in 1879. He enjoyed classical music and played the violin. One story Einstein liked to tell about his childhood was of a wonder he saw when he was four or five years old: a magnetic compass. The needle's invariable northward swing, guided by an invisible force, profoundly impressed the child. The compass convinced him that there had to be "something behind things, something deeply hidden."
Even as a small boy Albert Einstein was self-sufficient and thoughtful. According to family legend he was a slow talker, pausing to consider what he would say. His sister remembered the concentration and perseverance with which he would build houses of cards.