Einstein was very much involved in the Civil Rights movement. He was a close friend of Paul Robeson for over 20 years. Einstein was a member of several civil rights groups (including the Princeton chapter of the NAACP) many of which were headed by Paul Robeson. He served as co-chair with Paul Robeson of the American Crusade to End Lynching. When W.E.B. DuBois was frivolously charged with being a communist spy during the McCarthy era while he was in his 80s, Einstein volunteered as a character witness in the case. The case was dismissed shortly after it was announced that he was to appear in that capacity. Einstein was quoted as saying that "racism is America's greatest disease".
The U.S. FBI kept a 1,427 page file on his activities and recommended that he be barred from immigrating to the United States under the Alien Exclusion Act, alleging that Einstein "believes in, advises, advocates, or teaches a doctrine which, in a legal sense, as held by the courts in other cases, 'would allow anarchy to stalk in unmolested' and result in 'government in name only'", among other charges. They also alleged that Einstein "was a member, sponsor, or affiliated with thirty-four communist fronts between 1937-1954" and "also served as honorary chairman for three communist organizations." It should be noted that many of the documents in the file were submitted to the FBI, mainly by civilian political groups, and not actually written by FBI officials.
In 1939, Einstein signed a letter, written by Le? Szil?rd, to President Roosevelt arguing that the United States should start funding research into the development of nuclear weapons.
Einstein opposed tyrannical forms of government, and for this reason (and his Jewish background), opposed the Nazi regime and fled Germany shortly after it came to power. At the same time, Einstein's anarchist nephew Carl Einstein, who shared many of his views was fighting the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. Einstein initially favored construction of the atomic bomb, in order to ensure that Hitler did not do so first, and even sent a letter  to President Roosevelt (dated August 2, 1939, before World War II broke out, and probably written by Le? Szil?rd) encouraging him to initiate a program to create a nuclear weapon. Roosevelt responded to this by setting up a committee for the investigation of using uranium as a weapon, which in a few years was superseded by the Manhattan Project.
After the war, though, Einstein lobbied for nuclear disarmament and a world government: "I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth-rocks!"
Einstein was a supporter of Zionism. He supported Jewish settlement of the ancient seat of Judaism and was active in the establishment of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which published (1930) a volume titled About Zionism: Speeches and Lectures by Professor Albert Einstein, and to which Einstein bequeathed his papers. However, he opposed nationalism and expressed skepticism about whether a Jewish nation-state was the best solution. He may have imagined Jews and Arabs living peacefully in the same land. In later life, in 1952, he was offered the post of second president of the newly created state of Israel, but declined the offer, claiming that he lacked the necessary people skills. Einstein was disturbed by the violence taking place in the Palestine after the Second World War and expressed that he was disappointed with the Jewish Ultra-Nationalist Organization (Irgun and Stern Gang). Nonetheless, Einstein remained deeply committed to the welfare of Israel and the Jewish people for the rest of his life.
Einstein, along with Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell, fought against nuclear tests and bombs. As his last public act, and just days before his death, he signed the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, which led to the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. His letter to Russell read:
Dear Bertrand Russell,
Thank you for your letter of April5. I am gladly willing to sign your excellent statement. I also agree with your choice of the prospective signers.
With kind regards, A. Einstein
Popularity and cultural impact
Einstein's popularity has led to widespread use of Einstein in advertising and merchandising, including the registration of "Albert Einstein" as a trademark.
The photo (detail from the original) of this humorous expression was taken during Einstein's birthday on March 14, 1951, UPI
Albert Einstein has become the subject of a number of novels, films and plays, including Nicolas Roeg's film Insignificance, Fred Schepisi's film I.Q., Alan Lightman's novel Einstein's Dreams, and Steve Martin's comedic play "Picasso at the Lapin Agile". He was the subject of Philip Glass's groundbreaking 1976 opera Einstein on the Beach. Since 1978, Einstein's humorous side has been the subject of a live stage presentation Albert Einstein: The Practical Bohemian, a one man show performed by actor Ed Metzger.
He is often used as a model for depictions of eccentric scientists in works of fiction; his own character and distinctive hairstyle suggest eccentricity, or even lunacy and are widely copied or exaggerated. TIME magazine writer Frederic Golden referred to Einstein as "a cartoonist's dream come true."
On Einstein's 72nd birthday in 1951, the UPI photographer Arthur Sasse was trying to coax him into smiling for the camera. Having done this for the photographer many times that day, Einstein stuck out his tongue instead . The image has become an icon in pop culture for its contrast of the genius scientist displaying a moment of levity. Yahoo Serious, an Australian film maker, used the photo as an inspiration for the intentionally anachronistic movie Young Einstein.
Einstein bequeathed his estate, as well as the use of his image (see personality rights), to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Einstein actively supported the university during his life and this support continues with the royalties received from licensing activities. The Roger Richman Agency licences the commercial use of the name "Albert Einstein" and associated imagery and likenesses of Einstein, as agent for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As head licensee the agency can control commercial usage of Einstein's name which does not comply with certain standards (e.g., when Einstein's name is used as a trademark, the ™ symbol must be used ). As of May, 2005, the Roger Richman Agency was acquired by Corbis.
Einstein on the cover of TIME as Person of the Century.
Einstein has received a number of posthumous honors. For example:
" In 1992, he was ranked #10 on Michael H. Hart's list of the most influential figures in history.
" In 1999, he was named Person of the Century by TIME magazine.
" The year 2005 was designated as the "World Year of Physics" by UNESCO for its coinciding with the centennial of the "Annus Mirabilis" papers, celebrated at the Einstein Symposium.
Among Einstein's many