Georg Cantor Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Oluniyi Akande
Jan 31, 2024 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Jun 06, 2022
Edited by Aubree Mosby
Georg Cantor is a famous German mathematician.
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Read time: 11.3 Min

About Georg Cantor

Did you know that Georg Cantor worked on the existence of an infinite number?

He was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia on March 3, 1845. He is famous for building a ranking of infinite sets based on their cardinal numbers.

Cantor's work includes inventing the Cantor set theory and Cantor's theorem. Cantor's set theory has now become a fundamental mathematics theory. It also has become an important part of every modern mathematics branch. His family was full of talented musicians, so as a child, he was inclined to music. However, he was also good at studies, especially mathematics, which intrigued him. As he grew up, he enrolled at the University of Berlin where he specialized in mathematics, philosophy, and physics. Cantor's work and views, in the beginning, were opposed by several peers of his, but he didn't stop because of the criticism. So, he kept researching. Along with cardinal numbers, he also made huge developments in the study of transfinite and trigonometry numbers. Additionally, Cantor established how important one-to-one correspondence is in a set theory. The brilliant mathematician suffered from mental illness as he grew older, but he continued doing great work in the field of mathematics. He received the Sylvester Medal for his contribution. It's also rumored he was spiritual in nature and believed that many of his discoveries were communicated to him by God.

Georg Cantor Net Worth, Earnings, & Spending Habits

What is Georg Cantor's net worth?

Georg Cantor's net worth was estimated to be $4.5 million.

How much does Georg Cantor earn per year?

Georg Cantor earned his wealth from his career as a professor and a researcher. However, he did not earn a lot of money, and he was still in poverty when he retired. During World War I, he even suffered from malnourishment. Hence, it can be assumed that annually he earned very little.

Height, Age, & Physical Attributes

How tall is Georg Cantor?

Georg Cantor was born in 1845, and there is no record of his height from his time. As a result, it's not known how tall he was.

How old is Georg Cantor?

Georg Cantor died on January 6, 1918 in Halle, Germany. At the time of his death, he was 73 years old.

Childhood And Education

Georg Cantor was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia on March 3, 1845. Georg Cantor's father was Georg Waldemar Cantor, who was born in Denmark. He was a merchant who was successful at his work as a wholesaling agent in the city and later in the Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange as a broker. His mother was Maria Anna Bohm, who was Russian and talented in music. His mother was an outstanding violinist, and he inherited artistic talents from her. Both of his parents came from different religions but were religious nonetheless, so Georg inherited that as well. He also had five younger siblings.

Primarily, Georg received education from a private tutor at home. He enrolled in a primary school in 1856 when his entire family moved to Germany. He recounted many times of his childhood in Russia very fondly and with nostalgia. He also said that even though he stayed in Germany for the rest of his life, in the country, he never felt at ease. Their relocation was in search of warmer climates owing to his father's poor health conditions. His family lived in many places in Germany, including Frankfurt, Wiesbaden where he studied at the Gymnasium, and Darmstadt where he attended the Realschule. He graduated from the school with an exceptional report, especially in mathematics and, in particular, trigonometry, in 1860.

Georg Cantor next attended Hohere Gewerbeschule in Darmstadt. His father sent him to school to hone his skills in engineering. However, he wanted to study mathematics and asked his father for permission to study it at university. Eventually, his father agreed, and he enrolled in the Polytechnic of Zürich in 1862. However, he could only study there for a year because his father died in June 1863. Hence, he transferred to the University of Berlin. There, he attended the lectures from some of the big names in the field of mathematics - Kronecker, Kummer, and Weierstrass. During the 1866 summer term, he went off to the University of Gottingen but came back to Berlin and completed his dissertation on number theory in 1867 and got his doctorate the same year.

Family And Relationship

Who is Georg Cantor's partner?

Georg Cantor was happily married to Vally Guttmann until he died in 1918. Vally Guttmann was a friend of his sister. The couple became engaged in the spring of 1874 and then got married on August 9, 1874. They spent their honeymoon in Switzerland, specifically in Interlaken. There he met with Dedekind and discussed mathematics with him. Georg and Vally Cantor spent the rest of their lives together happily and had six children together.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

After Georg Cantor got his doctorate in 1867, he started teaching at a Berlin girls' school. While he was still at the Berlin girls' school, he joined a seminar for mathematics teachers at Schellbach in 1968. He was working on getting his habilitation at that time. In 1869, he was appointed to Halle. He again presented his thesis on number theory and got his habilitation.

While he was in Halle, he turned his research from number theory towards analysis. He did that when his senior colleague, Heine, challenged him to prove the open problem of a function's uniqueness of representation as a trigonometric series possesses. He solved the problem that big names in the field, including Heine, couldn't by April 1870.

Georg Cantor published more work around 1870-1872 on trigonometric series. In 1872, he was promoted to the position of Extraordinary Professor at Halle. One paper that Georg Cantor published that year on trigonometric series discussed all irrational numbers as convergent sequences of all rational numbers.

He proved that rational numbers could be placed in a one-one manner with natural numbers. He also described that the roots of polynomial equations that have integer coefficients are also countable. However, he found it difficult if real numbers were countable. By December 1873, he proved that they were not countable and published a paper on it in 1874. In this paper, he extended the work of Liouville from 1851, saying that almost all numbers are, in a sense, transcendental.

In 1877, he proved that a one-one correspondence of points in pp-dimensional space and on the interval [0, 1] exists. He submitted the theory to 'Crelle's Journal' and received criticism from Kronecker, but Dedekind intervened. By this time, Georg Cantor and Dedekind already had a beautiful friendship. The paper in the journal discussed sets in one-one correspondence with natural numbers, among other things.

He was promoted to a full professor in 1979, and between then, up until to 1884, he published six series of papers in 'Mathematische Annalen' that provided the basic introduction to his set theory. The fifth paper of this series was especially important and was published as a separate monograph. Firstly, Cantor realized that his set theory was not being received as he expected, and this paper was the answer to the criticisms. Additionally, the biggest achievement of the paper was that it presented the transfinite numbers as a systematic extension of natural numbers and as autonomous.

Even though he was a full professor then, he was still hoping for a position at another more prestigious university. His friendship and mathematical correspondence with Dedekind also ended in 1882. His first bout of depression was recorded in May 1884. Even though he recovered within a few weeks' time, he couldn't seem to get back into his research, and he seemed less confident.

He always had enmity with Kronecker, and many thought that his enmity with a few in the field like him and mathematical worries caused the issues. However, it was the opposite, and his mathematical worries started to get to him. He also tried to reconcile with Kronecker when he took a holiday in the Harz mountains. He started to specifically worry that he couldn't prove that the real numbers' infinity was next after the infinity of natural numbers. His work proved to be fluctuating as he kept finding errors in whatever he found.

In 1885, he was told to withdraw a paper from 'Acta Mathematica', as he was told it was too progressive. As his correspondence with Mittag-Leffler stopped soon after this, the last 12 years of rapid development in his set theory also seemed to have stopped. However, when he finally began working, he turned his set theory research in two new directions. First, he discussed the philosophical aspects of the theory, and second, he founded the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung in 1890. Even with the enmity between him and Kronecker, he invited him to address the first-ever meeting of the Association in September 1891 in Halle. However, owing to his wife being injured, Kronecker didn't attend. In this meeting, Georg Cantor was chosen as the first-ever president of the Association, and he held the post until 1893.

He published a paper in 1894, which was a little out of character for him and rather proved the state of his mind. He listed how all even numbers up to 1,000 were to be written as the added value of two primes. The strangeness was that Goldbach's conjecture already verified that number up to 10,000, 40 years ago. The last papers he submitted on set theory held excellent surveys of transfinite arithmetic and were published in 1895 and 1897. He wanted to include the evidence of the continuum hypothesis in his second paper but couldn't. However, he described his theory of ordinal numbers and well-ordered sets in that paper.

He attended his first-ever International Congress of Mathematicians in 1897 in Zurich. He was praised by many at the International Congress of Mathematicians for his work with the existence of an infinite number, set theory, overall, for Cantor's theorem. He also rekindled his friendship with Dedekind there. By the time he attended the Congress, he had found the first of set theory paradoxes and tried to solve it later by corresponding with Dedekind, but his bouts of mental illness caused him to stop writing altogether in 1899.

Whenever he suffered from the illness, he turned his focus from mathematics to philosophy and literature. He would ask to give lectures on philosophy and even began to study Elizabethan literature to prove his belief that Shakespeare's plays were written by Francis Bacon. The mental pressure on the mathematician grew when his mother passed away in 1896, and his younger brother passed away in 1899.

In October 1899, he took leave from teaching, and in December that year, his youngest son died. From this time forward, he continued to suffer from mental illness until he died. He kept on teaching regarding his work in both literature and mathematics. He lectured at a Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung meeting and even attended the International Congress of Mathematicians at Heidelberg. However, he had to take leaves several times from then on. When he had to endure the worst bouts of his illness, he spent his days in sanatoria.

He wrote a religious work in 1905 and took leave for most of the year 1909, owing to his mental health. He worked at the university again around 1910-1911, and soon after, Scotland's University of St. Andrews sent him an invitation for their 500th founding day anniversary as a significant foreign scholar. The University of St. Andrews awarded him the Doctor of Laws honorary degree in 1913, but due to his health, he couldn't be physically present to receive the degree.

Georg Cantor retired in 1913 and stayed home for most of the time. He had to go to the sanatorium in June 1917 where he died due to a heart attack the very next year.

Charity Work

Georg Cantor dedicated his entire life to the field of mathematics. Cantor's work and his contribution to set theory has served as one of the most important parts of mathematics. However, he received very little in return during his lifetime. He struggled financially, and poverty saw him suffer from malnourishment. It would have been difficult for him to be involved with any charity. However, even if he was involved, there is no record of such an occurrence.

What awards did Georg Cantor win?

Georg Cantor has achieved a great many things in his life through his contributions to the field of mathematics. He received the Sylvester Medal from The Royal Society in 1904, which is the highest honor from the academy for the field of mathematics. The German Mathematical Society, or the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung, even established the Cantor Medal in honor of the great German mathematician.

Georg Cantor's Hobbies And Interests

Georg Cantor devoted his entire life to research in mathematics. He came from a family of talented musicians, so from a very young age, he started to show interest in music. Other than his passion for music and studies, it's not known what other hobbies and interests he had.

Other Interesting Georg Cantor Facts And Trivia

Georg Cantor's work was appreciated in his time, but he struggled financially and lived a poor man's life.

The great mathematician also suffered from bouts of depression and other mental illnesses. However, even with everything Georg Cantor was enduring, he still continued researching mathematics. Cantor retired as a poor man and spent the last few years of his life in a sanatorium. He wrote to his wife many times, saying he wanted to return home. Sadly, his death came on January 6, 1918, owing to a heart attack.

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Georg Cantor Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor

Date of Birth

1845-03-02

Date of Death

1918-01-05

Nationality

Russian

Place of Birth

Saint Petersburg

Child Star?

No

Occupation

Mathematician

Partner

Vally Guttman

Parents

Maria Anna Bohm, Georg Waldemar Cantor

Siblings

Sophie Nobiling, Louis, Constantine, Ludwig Cantor
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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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