Helen Dukas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Helen Dukas
Born(1896-10-17)October 17, 1896
DiedFebruary 10, 1982(1982-02-10) (aged 85)
Known forAlbert Einstein's secretary

Helen Dukas (17 October 1896 – 10 February 1982) was Albert Einstein's secretary. She also co-authored Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel[1] and co-edited Albert Einstein: The Human Side[2][3] with Banesh Hoffmann. Dukas was one of two trustees chosen by Einstein, according to his Last Will and Testament, to hold the literary rights to all of his manuscripts, copyrights, publication rights, royalties, and royalty agreements.[4] The other trustee was the economist Dr. Otto Nathan.[4] In short, Dukas and Dr. Nathan were the "executors of his literary heritage."[5] They collaborated on the compilation of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, using documents that were subsequently donated to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[5]

Einstein and Dukas were subjected to intrusive surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover.[6][7]

Early life[edit]

Her name was actually Helene and she was the daughter of a German-Jewish merchant named Leopold Dukas.[5] Born, raised and educated initially in Freiburg im Breisgau, she had six siblings, and her mother was named Hannchen (née Liebmann).[5] Hannchen Dukas was coincidentally from the same town, Hechingen, that Elsa Einstein, Albert Einstein's second wife, hailed from.[5] It was through this connection that the Helen Dukas would gain the position as Albert Einstein's secretary in 1928.[5] Following Elsa Einstein's death in 1936, Dukas would take on many of the housekeeper tasks for the Einstein family, by this point living in Princeton, New Jersey, where Dukas would remain until her death.[5] She died unmarried.[8] There is no evidence that Helen Dukas and Albert Einstein had an affair.[9]


  1. ^ Viking Press, 1972, 272 pages.
  2. ^ Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Princeton University Press, 1979, 167 pages.
  3. ^ "Review of Einstein, the Human Side edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 36 (3): 53. March 1980.
  4. ^ a b Bernstein, Jeremy (6 July 1987) "Einstein when young." New Yorker. Vol. 63, Issue 20. Stable URL.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Short life history: Helen Dukas". Archived from the original on 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
  6. ^ Overbye, Dennis (7 May 2002) "New Details Emerge From the Einstein Files." The New York Times. Vol. 151, Issue 52111, page D1. Stable URL
  7. ^ The Einstein File: J. Edgar Hoover's Secret War Against the World's Most Famous Scientist, by Fred Jerome. Published by St. Martin's Press, 2002, 358 pages.
  8. ^ Morris, Lulu (10 April 2017). "Who were the most important people in Einstein's life". National Geographic.
  9. ^ Highfield, Roger; Carter, Paul (1994). The Private Lives of Albert Einstein. Macmillan. p. 247.