>Einstein failed his math exams many times in school
Why does this myth persist?
Is it spread false hope that "anyone can do math if they try hard enough"?
It's a common misconception originating from different grading systems in Germany and Switzerland. In Germany 1 is the best grade (meaning "excellent") and 6 the worst grade (meaning "failed"). In Switzerland the order is reversed. Einstein passed all his math classes in high school with grade 6 in Switzerland, so uneducated Germans assumed he failed them all.
The whole flaw with that is we're all humans. So we'll be judged on what humans can and should do. It's not like we're calling chimpanzees retarded because they can't do calculus. That phrase is just for mommy's special little snowflakes
It's in analogy with the greentext in the OP
It's popularly attributed to Einstein but there's no reason to believe he's ever said it, and it's just a stupid thing to believe regardless, as you said. That's my point.
This was brought up while he was still alive even. According to his bio he laughed and told them "I've never failed a class in my life, not even gym."
It is true he dropped out though, twice I think and his education in maths was considered modest in comparison to other scientists. He lamented not taking more math later in life, he felt his limited math skills were keeping him from finishing his unified field theory.
Unlike Gates he did eventually finish.
I think he dropped out of what was basically high school once and out of college once. Also the college he graduated from was not super prestigious at the time and his degree was pretty general, just generic applied science or something.
He got more degrees later but it still wasn't much compared to other scientists.