Few human beings have advanced science further than Richard Feynman. Even fewer scientists have made their work so profoundly human. Now this brilliant biography vividly illumines the immense achievement and all-encompassing humanity of the Nobel prizewinner who was arguably the first physicist of his generation, the most inspiring and influential mentor and teacher, and to those who knew and loved him, a practical joker, safecracker, and bongo player supreme in the constellation of scientific stars. We follow Feynman growing up in a decade shadowed by the Great Depression and the gathering storm of World War II, going to universities where Jewish quotas were still the norm and where he dazzled professors and peers with the swiftness of his intellect and directness of his insight, which marked him early as a major figure. We see him, as well, as a handsome young man filled with zest for life and love, blessed with wit and charm. With his entry into the project to develop the atomic bomb, we watch him flower in the company of scientific greats, even as he pursued the epochal investigations into quantum electrodynamics that would win him the Nobel Prize. This landmark study of how electricity and magnetism work was but the first achievement in a career that reached into varied areas of physics and resulted in remarkable discoveries.