You may not immediately recognize the name of Moscow-born computer scientist Sergey Brin, but it’s almost certain that you’ve used his invention lately.
Brin was brought to America at the age of six by his parents Michael and Eugenia, a pair of Russian Jewish mathematicians who had seen their dreams and careers curtailed by widespread anti-Semitism in the Communist Party and Russia as a whole.
After attending an international conference in Warsaw, Brin’s father found that his Western equivalents were not “monsters,” and soon applied for an exit visa. The backlash was quick and severe.
Michael Brin was “promptly fired” and the family scraped by on a series of odd temporary jobs until approval finally came in 1979. Sergey was enrolled in a Maryland Montessori school, where he naturally excelled at math and developed an early interest in computers.
That interest paid off fifteen years later when Brin found himself sharing a room with Google co-founder Larry Page.