24. In 1952, Albert Einstein declined an offer to become the second president of the State of Israel.
In 1952, Albert Einstein could have become President of Israel when the first president, Einstein’s friend Chaim Weizmann, asked the scientist to replace him. Weizmann had been president since February 17, 1949, but by 1952, Weizmann was in frail health. Einstein, a naturalized American citizen, was a known supporter of Zionism and a believer in the importance of cooperation between Jews and Arabs. So Weizmann approached the man he regarded as ‘the greatest Jew alive’ and asked him to take over the reins of the fledgling Israeli state. However, despite being “deeply moved’ by Weizmann’s offer and the assurance that being president would not interfere with his scientific work, Einstein turned the presidency down.