Grigory Perelman has been called the smartest man in the world. The Russian Jewish mathematician proved the previously-thought-unsolvable Poincare Conjecture, which basically states that any three-dimensional space without holes is a sphere. His proof might help determine the shape of the universe. Yeah, it's a big deal.
For his work, Perelman was awarded the top honor of mathematics, the Fields Medal, as well as the Millennium Prize, a one-million-dollar award for solving one of seven mind-shattering problems (the other six remain unsolved).
Perelman declined both awards.
Instead, he quit mathematics altogether, and moved into a barren, cockroach-infested apartment with his mother. "I'm not interested in money or fame. I don't want to be on display like an animal in a zoo," Perelman said.
Now, we're not gonna argue with Perelman's wishes. After all, what mathematician hasn't felt like they were caged for the entertainment of others? Just the paparazzi alone drives many a calculating prodigy over the edge. But come on, Grigory. You moved in with your mother. The least you could do is help her out. What kind of a Jewish son are you?
Seriously, is the smartest man in the world also the stupidest?