John Forbes Nash Jr., the Princeton University mathematician whose life inspired the film “A Beautiful Mind,” and his wife died in a car crash Saturday, according to New Jersey State Police.
Nash, 86, and Alicia Nash, 82, were riding in a taxi near Monroe Township when the incident occurred, State Police Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Williams said.
They were traveling southbound in the left lane when the taxi went out of control while trying to pass another car, Williams said.
The car crashed into the guard rail, and the couple was ejected from the vehicle. They were pronounced dead at the scene, Williams said
The taxi driver, Tarek Girgis, was sent to Robert Wood Johnson hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A passenger in the other car was transported by ground to Princeton University Hospital complaining of neck pain.
No charges been filed in the accident, which is still under investigation, Williams said.
Nash, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994, was known for his work in game theory, and his personal struggle with paranoid schizophrenia. His life story inspired the 2001 Oscar-winning film “A Beautiful Mind” starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly as the Nashes. The film was based on the 1998 book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar.
“It was Nash’s genius,” Nasar wrote, “to choose a woman who would prove so essential to his survival.”
Nash received his Ph. D. from Princeton in 1950 based on a dissertation on the fields of mathematics and economics. In 1951 he joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, where he met his future wife, Alicia Larde, a student in his advanced calculus class.
He began to experience what he called “the mental disturbances” in the early months of 1959, he wrote in his Nobel biography. Consequently, he resigned from his position as an M.I.T. faculty member and spent 50 days under observation at the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts.
In addition to the Nobel, Nash received the John von Neumann Theory Prize in 1978 and the American Mathematical Society’s Steele Prize for a Seminal Contribution to Research (1999). Just last week, he was in Norway to accept the 2015 Abel Prize last week for mathematical contributions with longtime colleague Louis Nirenberg.
Crowe, who played Nash in “A Beautiful Mind,” expressed condolences to the family on Twitter, calling the couple an “amazing partnership” with “beautiful minds” and “beautiful hearts.”