Tom Siegfried in Science News:
Feynman was born 100 years ago May 11. It’s an anniversary inspiring much celebration in the physics world. Feynman was one of the last great physicist celebrities, universally acknowledged as a genius who stood out even from other geniuses.
In 1997 I interviewed Nobel laureate Hans Bethe, a Cornell University physicist who worked with Feynman during World War II on the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos (and later on the Cornell faculty). “Normal” geniuses, Bethe said, did things much better than other people but you could figure out how they did it. And then there were magicians. “Feynman was a magician. I could not imagine how he got his ideas,” Bethe told me. “He was a phenomenon. Feynman certainly was the most original physicist I have seen in my life, and I have seen lots of them.”