Born in Norway to a mathematics family, I was the son of a high school teacher who held a doctorate in mathematics, plus my two older brothers became mathematics professors.
I read Ramanujan's collected papers as a young boy, studied mathematics at the University at age 12, and even published a small paper at age 15.
I obtained my doctorate from the University of Oslo, writing a thesis on the Riemann Hypothesis.
My claim to fame grew out of my thesis, as I was the first to estimate the num ber of zeros of the Riemann zeta-function...and the conclusion that a positive fraction of these zeros had to lie on the critical line.
Eventually, while working at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, I extended my sieve-methods to give an elementary proof of the Prime Number Theorem...something great mathematicians such as G.H. Hardy said would be impossible.
I have received many honors, such as the Fields Medal, the Wolf Prize, and an honorary Abel Prize.
In 2003, when asked if the Riemann Hypothesis was true, I responded: "If anything at all in our universe is correct, it has to be the Riemann Hypothesis, if for no other reasons, so for purely esthetical reasons."
Atle Selberg (1917 - 2007)