Alan Paige Lightman (born November 28, 1948) is an American physicist, writer, and social entrepreneur. He is a professor of humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of the international bestseller Einstein's Dreams. He was the first professor at MIT to receive a joint appointment in the sciences and the humanities.
Lightman was born in Memphis, Tennessee. His father was Richard Lightman, a movie theater owner, and his mother, Jeanne Garretson, a dancing teacher and volunteer Braille typist. He is one of four brothers, including Big Star bass guitarist John Lightman.
From an early age, he was interested in both science and the arts and, while in high school, began independent science projects and writing poetry. His unusual combination of talents in both science and creative writing drew attention as he won city and state-wide science fairs as well as the state-wide competition for the National Council of Teachers of English award. He graduated from White Station High School in Memphis...
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