Mathematician Alexander Grothendieck was born in 1928 to anarchist parents who left him to spend the majority of his formative years with foster parents. His father was murdered in Auschwitz. As his mother was detained, he grew up stateless, hiding from the Gestapo in occupied France. All the while, he taught himself mathematics from books and before his twentieth birthday had re-discovered for himself a proof of the Lebesgue measure, a staple of integration theory. Later a rising star in the hot-shot French mathematical milieu of 1950s and 60s, Grothendieck would in his “golden years” from 1955–1970 move from subject to subject, introducing revolutionary new ideas as he went along Jørgen Veisdal