He built some very cool toys for his kids, some of which are on display there. Here's a video of him with some of his juggling machines http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBHGzRxfeJY
Who are their contemporary equivalents, I wonder? Would Alan Kay and his lab's FONC  research qualify? I suppose time will tell...
"One of the characteristics of successful scientists is having courage. Once you get your courage up and believe that you can do important problems, then you can. If you think you can't, almost surely you are not going to. Courage is one of the things that Shannon had supremely. You have only to think of his major theorem. He wants to create a method of coding, but he doesn't know what to do so he makes a random code. Then he is stuck. And then he asks the impossible question, "What would the average random code do?" He then proves that the average code is arbitrarily good, and that therefore there must be at least one good code. Who but a man of infinite courage could have dared to think those thoughts? That is the characteristic of great scientists; they have courage. They will go forward under incredible circumstances; they think and continue to think."
 e.g. http://www.chris-lott.org/misc/kaiser.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Dirac who's eponymous Delta Dirac function is essential for signals (e.g. information theory) analysis.
Oh yeah. He also basically invented modern wave theory.
Be nice if the article defined 'made a fortune.'