I was born in Germany to a successful Jewish brewmaster and a Protestant mother.
Attending the Gymnasium, I excelled in mathematics but did poorly in other subjects because I devoted too much time and attention to swimming and tennis.
After getting a doctorate for my study of the topology of manifolds, I worked with mathematical greats such as Emmy Noether, Bieberbach, Lefschetz, and Veblen.
During WWII, I found sanctuary in Switzerland but struggled politically and professionally because I had not renounced my German citizenship.
Known as the father of algebraic topology, I was described by some: "a sure instinct, chose deep problems and let them mature, then in time solved them in single strokes, whereby entirely new ideas and methods first saw the light of day."
In his description of me, Freudenthal said "he was a short, vigorous man with cheerful, pleasant features. His voice was well modulated, and his speech slow and strongly articulated. His lecture style was clear and fascinating; in personal conversation he conveyed stimulating ideas."
Heinz Hopf (1894 - 1971)