3-Sentence Letter of Reference Goes Viral
A mathematician wrote it for 'genius' John Forbes Nash
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2015 4:08 PM CDT
In this Oct. 11, 1994 file photo, Princeton University professor John Nash speaks during a news conference at the school in Princeton, NJ.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

(Newser) – Like a strong, simple letter of recommendation? Well it helps if the subject is a genius. Mathematician Richard Duffin wrote a letter to Princeton University for John Forbes Nash, Jr., who became an esteemed mathematician and the subject of the film A Beautiful Mind, Mashable reports. Dated Feb. 11, 1948, the letter reads:

  • "This is to recommend John F. Nash, Jr. who has applied for entrance to the graduate college at Princeton. Mr. Nash is 19 years old and is graduating from Carnegie Tech in June. He is a mathematical genius. Yours Sincerely, Richard J. Duffin."

The letter was successful, notes Vox, and Nash went on to win the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994, the Star-Ledger reports. Nash and his wife died in a taxi crash last month, but weren't supposed to be in that taxi.