In 1995, a biography of Leonhard Euler by the Basel historian of science Emil A. Fellmann appeared in the pocket-book series "Rowohlt's Monographs". This copiously illustrated, "entirely formula-free" small volume met with great success and is out of print. In 2002 Springer Tokyo published a Japanese translation.
Now Fellmann's biography is also being presented in English; to our knowledge, it is actually the first monograph on Euler available in English. The translation by Erika and Walter Gautschi was published in December 2006 by Birkhäuser Basel.
Euler was not only by far the most productive mathematician in the history of mankind, but also one of the greatest scholars of all time. He attained, like only a few scholars, a degree of popularity and fame which may well be compared with that of Galilei, Newton, or Einstein.
Moreover he was a cosmopolitan in the truest sense of the word; he lived during his first twenty years in Basel, was active altogether for more than thirty years in Petersburg and for a quarter of a century in Berlin.
Leonhard Euler's unusually rich life and broadly diversified activity in the immediate vicinity of important personalities which have made history, may well justify an exposition.
This book is based in part on unpublished sources and comes right out of the current research on Euler. It is entirely free of formulae as it has been written for a broad audience with interests in the history of culture and science.