Years ago I read about a topologist who was to enter the states as an immigrant and was asked a question about his profession. He indicated he was a topologist, but as this was not included on the officer's list, he wanted to check him in as a "mathematician", which was on his list.
But, the topologist refused being classified as an ordinary mathematician, and insisted on "topologist".
The argument escalated and finally they put the topologist in a psychiatric institute, out of which he was freed by a colleague mathematician who explained the situation to the police.
The question is now: what's the name of this topologist; I can't remember his name anymore.
Some years ago (must have been between september 2000 and october 2004) I read his biography, I believe in the Notices of the AMS, but it may have been another publication by AMS, MAA or EMS as well. Some details in the story might be slightly wrong due to failing memories.
Can someone please provide me his name, and maybe the reference to the biography as well? That would be very friendly!
Thanks in advance for this!