“The Father of the Atomic Bomb”


About J. Robert Oppenheimer

Robert Oppenheimer (1904 – 1967) was an American theoretical physicist and lecturer. In 1942, when the Manhattan Project launched, General Leslie Groves appointed Oppenheimer as the director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). With his brilliant mind and dedication to the country, he was dubbed the “Father of the Atomic Bomb.”

Under Oppenheimer’s guidance, the laboratories at Los Alamos were constructed and brought together some of the best minds in physics with the sole purpose to design and build an atomic bomb. General Groves’ decision to select Oppenheimer as director was validated when less than three years later, on July 16th, 1945, The Trinity Test was successfully conducted, confirming years of work and research to be victorious. In August of that same year, two atomic bombs were dropped over Japan.

After the war ended Oppenheimer became an advisor of the Atomic Energy Commission, lobbying for international arms control. 

In 1960, Oppenheimer, along with Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and Joseph Rotblat established the World Academy of Art and Science. He continued lecturing around the world until 1965 when he was diagnosed with throat cancer, after unsuccessful surgery and radiation treatment, Oppenheimer passed away in 1967 leaving his wife Katherine to two adult children behind.

Read more about the Los Alamos National Lab and other atomic sites and facilities.