John von Neumann, a late sleeper?

Maybe I have something in common with Johnny von Neumann after all:

Well, John von Neumann always slept very late, so I was kind and I did not wake him until well after ten in the morning. When I called his hotel in London, he answered the phone in bed, and I said “Johnny, you’re quite right.” And he said to me, “You wake me up early in the morning to tell me that I’m right? Please wait until I’m wrong.”

Jacob Bronowski

The quote appears on page 211 of Norman Macrae‘s biography of John Von Neumann.

Macrae goes on to say “Actually, Bronowski did not really understand how Johnny lived his life. First, Johnny would have mildly resented the interruption because he would by ten have been working for some hours on something else less simple.”


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