Herta Newman, who knew John Nash at M.I.T. in the 1950s, credited the mathematics community with aiding Nash's recovery. His math colleagues were "tolerant of certain aberrations, she recalled, "and also at the same time incredibly admiring of gift or genius. That was what was important about Nash in that world, not that he was ill."
For over a decade, Princeton tolerated and protected Nash, whom students called the Phantom. A red-sneakered, ghost-like figure, Nash roamed the campus, covering blackboards with elaborate formulas and computations. Yet many people with mental illnesses do not, or can not, manage to function in social environments as Nash did.
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