I also knew Norman. I just stumbled on this today. He was indeed a genius, if eccentric.
He developed an acute allergy from being exposed to chemicals on an Air Force base in Germany. His skin was extremely sensitive, he needed special soap to wash. He had to use it sparingly, as it was expensive. He use to joke that the tax on his soap was more than what most people pay for soap.
He told me a sad story about how he finally located his mother after being separated when he was taken away from her when 2 years old. They met and began an acquaintance. Then he left for Europe, she disappeared, did not give him her address, did not know Norm was with the military, and they never saw each other again.
I hired him to do some work for me. I recall him calling me from a phone booth, we were discussing some some code I needed him to write. He was able to recite, from memory, obscure and complex technical details about the Borland font file format. Blew me away.
My son was studying Electrical Engineering at TUNS. He was working with a team that were supposed to write some Assembler code to interface to a PC parallel port. They were using code written by the previous year's class. They couldn't get it to work. I showed the code to Norman, not only did he get it to work, but he proved that the other team had never got it working. He was smarter then university students :o)
When I gave Norm a 286 PC, the first thing he did was manually transcribe the BIOS into a 200-page binder, manually wrote down every machine instruction, and reverse engineered the assembler source code. I've been programming for fifty years, and I don't know anybody that could do that.
He was phenomenal. Alas he marched to the beat of his own drum. I tried to provide him paid work, but I was never able to get him to focus on assignments, he did his own thing.