At once profoundly complex yet elegantly simple, it launched a conceptual revolution that would over time come to fill a vast vacuum of logical thinking in human behavior that few knew even existed.
His signal academic scholarship saw him tower over his peers but the real world applications of his intellectual contributions, decades after having been published, are just as extraordinary.
Game theory is found predominately in international trade, monetary policy, environmental regulation, foreign policy and diplomatic negotiations, military strategy, information technology, and corporate business.
The very mechanisms associated with international auctions, whether oil and natural gas leases or T-bills, has been reordered by game theory.
The auction of FCC-regulated broadcast frequency, reported to have garnered over $10 billion, had been hailed by Princeton Dean Michael Rothschild as a "triumph of pure thought."
To be sure, this contemporary of Einstein and Oppenheimer was not perfect and his efforts to revise their field of quantum theory proved, in the words of Nash, to be "possibly overreaching and psychologically destabilizing."
But in the philosophy of Robert Browning, our reach should exceed our grasp, and by the singular measure of Nash's world-class contributions and accomplishments he should be recognized as the greatest West Virginian to have ever lived.
On the 20-year anniversary of his receiving the Nobel Prize, this product of the West Virginia public school system and devoted family should be honored at the Statehouse where the outstretched finger of Sen. Robert C. Byrd can point to a body of work that scaled the summit of contemporary knowledge.
Swint is a commercial property broker and political activist.