Born and educated in Nigeria, I moved to England to "read mathematics" as an external student of the University of London....and got a degree.
From there, I did research at Pembroke College, before completing my doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology...becoming the first Nigerian to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics.
Returning to be a mathematics lecturer at the Nigerian University of Ibadan, I was soon diverted from this by political activities and a civil war.
Basically a university mathematics professor until my retirement, I also won the Sigvard Ecklund Prize for original work in differential equations.
My "embarassed fame" is my published elementary proof of Fermatís Last Theorem...not only was it claimed to be a repeat of previously-known false proof, but also Andrew Wiles had already proven Fermatís Last Theorem three years earlier.
I am most proud of my political involvements...helping form the Dynamic Party of Nigeria, serving as its first secretary-general, being elected to the delegation that negotiated Nigeria's path to self-rule, refusing to vacate my national legislature seat until physically ousted, being arrested and charged with treason for plotting to overthrow the government, siding with the rebel leader Ojukwu in the Nigerian Civil War in 1966, and publically criticizing religion, ethnic extremism, and the culture of corruption that pervaded Nigerian politics.
Chike Obi (1921 Ė 2008)