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John Nash, the Princeton University mathematician and Nobel laureate whose towering intellect and descent into paranoid schizophrenia formed the basis of the Academy Award-winning movie “A Beautiful Mind,” has died. He was 86.

Nash and his wife, Alicia, were killed in an auto crash on the New Jersey Turnpike Saturday afternoon, The couple were in a taxi whose driver lost control and crashed into a guard rail. The Nobel laureate whose life as both a genius mathematician and a victim of cruel mental disorders inspired the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind. It was not after the movie was released that his work was known outside the arcademic circles.

Known as brilliant and eccentric, Nash was associated with Princeton University for many years, most recently serving as a senior research mathematician. He won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1994 for his work in game theory, which offered insight into the dynamics of human rivalry.

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