This NOVA special on Albert Einstein, first broadcast in the fall of 1996, has become a classic in the world of documentaries thanks to an extremely accurate and detailed portrait of the great physicist from Ulm. Featuring clips based on Einstein's own writings and on the contributions of those who knew him personally, the movie tells about the amazing career of a scientist who more than anybody else helped change the way how we perceive reality. Scientists and science historians talk about Einstein as both a physicist and a media star, an icon of the 20th century. The most complex aspects of his theories are explained with the help of short computer-based animations, a state-of-the-art technique at the time when this documentary was filmed. Born in Ulm, Southern Germany, from a middle-class Jewish family, Einstein showed a very early interest in the world around him, stimulated in that by the very surroundings he was living in. His father was a dealer in electric devices, his uncle - his father's business partner - was an engineer and the Einsteins were often visited by friends with a scientific inclination. Young Albert was profoundly influenced by the cultural climate of his teen years, a time when electromagnetism and its practical implications were the key focus of physics and technology. At school, however, Einstein was always fighting with his teachers: he didn't mind studying at all, but he hated the rigid discipline students had to put up with at the time. After his graduation from the Zurich Polytechnic, he was denied a university position because of his conflicts with school authorities. He married his classmate Mileva Maric and accepted a job at the Swiss patent office in Bern, but his keen desire to investigate the nature of light would soon lead him far beyond that ordinary employment.