By DAVID KNAPP, October 28, 2018
Raised in the Bronx and a graduate of James Monroe High School, Nobel Prize winner Leon Lederman died peacefully at 96 in an Idaho care home earlier this month of complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
With two other American physicists, Lederman received the prize for uncovering new particles that enhanced our understanding of the fundamental universe.
All the obituaries worldwide heralded Lederman as breaking ground for further discoveries, but also as a scientist who made the often obscure world of physics clear to the general public. But every newspaper — in the United States and abroad — noted that his family sold his prize medal (auctioned it on the internet for $765,000) to pay for his mounting medical bills, and for the cost of a nursing home in Idaho near the town where he and his wife were living when he retired.
So there are two stories here...