Isaac Newton Net Worth

How much was Isaac Newton worth?

Net Worth:$1 Million
Date of Birth:January 4, 1643
Country:United Kingdom
1.68 m

About Isaac Newton

It was almost like handing over the reins, just eleven months apart. Galileo Galilei died at Arcetri, near Florence, on January 8, 1642. More than nine hundred miles away and eleven months later, Hannah Newton gave birth to a premature baby boy on Christmas day near Grantham in Lincolnshire, England. Named after his late father, Isaac, who died just three months shy of his son’s birth, the baby was quite small and not expected to live.

The boy who would become Sir Isaac Newton did survive, but before young Isaac’s third birthday, the young widow Hannah foisted her son off on her mother to raise, in order to remarry and raise a second family with Barnabas Smith, a wealthy rector from nearby North Witham. It is said that Newton hated his stepfather, with whom he never lived, and he was not unhappy at the rector’s death eight years later, which brought his mother and step-siblings back to him.

English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author Isaac Newton had a net worth of $1 million dollars at the time of his death, in 1727. Newton was a horrible investor losing an adjusted $3 million dollars in the stock market.

In the revised edition of Benjamin Graham’s classic text The Intelligent Investor, columnist Jason Zweig annotates the text, and added:

“Back in the spring of 1720, Sir Isaac Newton owned shares in the South Sea Company, the hottest stock in England,” Zweig writes. “Sensing that the market was getting out of hand, the great physicist muttered that he ‘could calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of the people.’ Newton dumped his South Sea shares, pocketing a 100% profit totaling £7,000. But just months later, swept up in the wild enthusiasm of the market, Newton jumped back in at a much higher price—and lost £20,000 (or more than $3 million in [2002-2003’s] money.) For the rest of his life, he forbade anyone to speak the words ‘South Sea’ in his presence.”

Early Years

At the age of thirteen, young Sir Isaac Newton left to attend Grammar School in Grantham. Taking up lodging with the local apothecary, he was fascinated by the chemicals. His mother insisted that when he turned seventeen he would return and look after the farm. The problem with this plan was that Isaac made a terrible farmer.

Sir Isaac Newton’s uncle was a clergyman who had studied at Cambridge. He persuaded his sister that Isaac should attend the university, so in 1661 he went to Trinity College, Cambridge. During his first three years at Cambridge, Isaac paid his tuition by waiting tables and cleaning rooms for faculty and wealthier students.

The following year, he received the honor of being elected a scholar, which guaranteed four years of financial support. Before he could benefit, however, the university closed in the summer of 1665 when the plague began it’s merciless spread across Europe. Returning home, Newton spent the next two years in self-study of astronomy, mathematics and physics.

A legend of history has it that while sitting in his garden in Woolsthorpe in 1666, an apple fell on his head, producing his theories of universal gravitation. While the story is popular, and certainly has charm, it is more likely that these ideas were the work of many years of study and thought.

Sir Isaac Newton finally returned to Cambridge in 1667, where he spent the next 29 years. During this time, he published many of his most famous works, beginning with the treatise, “De Analysi,” dealing with infinite series. Newton’s friend and mentor Isaac Barrow was responsible for bringing the work to the attention of the mathematics community. Shortly afterwards, Barrow who held the Lucasian Professorship (established just four years previously, with Barrow the only recipient) at Cambridge gave it up so that Newton could have the Chair.

With his name becoming well known in scientific circles, Sir Isaac Newton came to the attention of the public for his work in astronomy, when he designed and constructed the first reflecting telescope. This breakthrough in telescope technology, which gave a sharper image than was possible with a large lens, ensured his election to membership in the Royal Society.

The scientists, Sir Christopher Wren, Robert Hooke, and Edmond Halley began a disagreement in 1684, over whether it was possible that the elliptical orbits of the planets could be caused by gravitational force towards the sun which varied inversely as the square of the distance. Halley traveled to Cambridge to ask the Lucasian Chair, himself.

Sir Isaac Newton claimed to have solved the problem four years earlier, but could not find the proof among his papers. After Halley’s departure, Isaac worked diligently on the problem and sent an improved version of the proof to the distinguished scientists in London. Throwing himself into the project of developing and expanding his theories, Newton eventually turned this work into his greatest book, “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica” in 1686. This work, which Halley encouraged him to write, and which Halley published at his own expense, brought him more into the view of the public and changed our view of the universe forever.

Shortly after this, Sir Isaac Newton moved to London, accepting the position of Master of the Mint. For many years afterward, he argued with Robert Hooke over who had actually discovered the connection between elliptical orbits and the inverse square law, a dispute which ended only with Hooke’s death in 1703.

In 1705, Queen Anne bestowed knighthood upon him, making him Sir Isaac Newton. Another dispute began in 1709, this time with German mathematician, Gottfried Leibniz, over which of them had invented calculus. While it may never have been settled to the satisfaction of either man, it lasted until around 1716.

One reason for Sir Isaac Newton’s disputes with other scientists was his tendency to write his brilliant articles, then not publish until after another scientist created similar work. Besides his earlier work, “De Analysi” (which didn’t see publication until 1711) and “Principia” (published in 1687), Newton’s other works included “Optics” (published in 1704), “The Universal Arithmetic” (published in 1707), the “Lectiones Opticae” (published in 1729), the “Method of Fluxions” (published in 1736), and the “Geometrica Analytica” (printed in 1779).

On March 20, 1727, Sir Isaac Newton died near London. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, the first scientist to be accorded this honor. Today, Michael Cates holds the Lucasian Chair. It was previously held by Stephen Hawking.

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Written by Jenna Jacobs

Jenna Jacobs writes on the core topics of science and technology, literature, psychology and nature. With a keen interest in history and finance Jacobs has written many articles on Suvudu.
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