Leon Lederman is a Nobel prize winner and won a Nobel Prize for his work in physics. The University of Chicago professor was forced to auction his medal for $765,000 in 2015 in order to pay his medical bills.
Lederman 96, died on Wednesday. He was famous for his work with subatomic particles.
He won the Nobel prize award in 1988 for the discovery of a subatomic particle called the muon neutrino. He is also known and famous for discovering the Higgs boson particle, which he named the “God particle.”
Lederman used some of his initial prize money to buy a log cabin in Idaho. According to his wife, Ellen Carr Lederman, they moved into to the cabin permanently when her husband began to experience severe memory loss in 2011. He was diagnosed with ‘dementia’ disease.
They did not have enough money in savings and in order to pay for the medicare necessary to manage his dementia, Leon Lederman talked to an online auction company to sell his Nobel Prize medal, New York Times reports.
Lederman died in a nursing home in Idaho.
“What he really loved was people, trying to educate them and help them understand what they were doing in science,” Ellen said of her husband.