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Oppenheimer (1908)

J. Robert Oppenheimer (1908)

image of Robert Oppenheimer

Source: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

J. Robert Oppenheimer is considered the father of the atomic bomb. He was the director of the team who designed and built the first atomic bomb. Oppenheimer was born in 1908 in New York City. In 1925 he graduated from Harvard University. In 1927 Oppenheimer earned his doctorate degree from the University of Gottingen in Germany. Two years later he became a professor at the University of California at Berkley and worked on theoretical physics. From 1943-1945, Oppenheimer led a team of scientists who designed and built the first atomic bomb. Over several of the following years, Oppenheimer headed the advisory committee of the United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). He worked with the U.S. Department of Defense and worked internationally for control of atomic energy.

Oppenheimer's loyalty to the United States was questioned in 1953. He held opposition to the hydrogen bomb and had some connections with Communists. This led to an investigation by the AEC security panel. He was cleared of all charges but the allegations caused him to be denied further access to secret information. Oppenheimer was awarded the Enrico Fermi Award for contributions to theoretical physics. J. Robert Oppenheimer spent the last years of his life as the director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He died in 1967.