History of compensation... When Albert Einstein left Europe in 1932 to work at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, he was asked to name his own salary. After a few days of contemplation, Einstein suggested a meager salary of $3,000/year, almost $55,000 in today's current economy. Perplexed by his modest request, the Institute felt it was unthinkable that other scholar' salaries would exceed Einstein's so they came back with a counter-offer of $10,000/year. Einstein reluctantly agreed to a higher salary figure, but refused an annual pension of $7,500 after deeming it "too generous." His pension was later reduced to $6,000, which he reluctantly agreed to. Going forward, anytime the Institute hired a new scholar to join their staff, Einstein's compensation was increased to those amounts.

Fast forward 80 years… Einstein's estate earned $11 million in 2015, landing him among the ranks of highest earning dead celebrities with royalties coming in from Disney's line of Baby Einstein products; educational books and toys, Montblanc pens and even a line of "smart" food.

More next week...