The day Albert Einstein died

Life magazine has published these images, taken by photographer Ralph Morse shortly after Albert Einstein’s death on April 18, 1955.

From the notes accompanying the photos:

Armed with his camera and a case of scotch — to open doors and loosen tongues — Morse compiled a quietly intense record of an icon’s passing. But aside from one now-famous image (above), the pictures Morse took that day were never published. At the request of Einstein’s son, who asked that the family’s privacy be respected while they mourned, LIFE decided not to run the full story, and for 55 years Morse’s photographs lay unseen and forgotten.