Admiral Hyman G. Rickover

Admiral Rickover was born in Makow, Russia on January 27, 1900. At the age of six, his family emigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago, Illinois. Admiral Rickover entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1918 and was commissioned an ensign in June 1922.

Following sea duty aboard USS La Vallette (DD-315) and USS Nevada (BB-36), Admiral Rickover attended Columbia University, where he earned the degree of Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. From 1929 to 1933, he qualified for submarine duty and command aboard the submarines S-9 and S-48. In June 1937, he assumed command of USS Finch. Later that year, he was selected as an Engineering Duty Officer and spent the remainder of his career serving in that specialty.

During World War II, Admiral Rickover served as Head of the Electrical Section of the Bureau of Ships and later as Commanding Officer of the Naval Repair Base, Okinawa. In 1946, he was assigned to the Atomic Energy Commission laboratory at Oak Ridge, Tennessee and, in early 1949, to the Division of Reactor Development, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

As director of the Naval Reactors Branch, Admiral Rickover developed the world's first nuclear powered submarine, USS Nautilus (SSN 571), which went to sea in 1955. In the years that followed, Admiral Rickover directed all aspects of building and operating the nuclear fleet.

Admiral Rickover's numerous medals and decorations include three Distinguished Service Medals, Legion of Merit, Navy Commendation Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. He also received 61 civilian awards (including the prestigious Enrico Fermi Award) and 15 honorary degrees.

Admiral Rickover was twice awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for exceptional public service. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter presented Admiral Rickover with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest non-military honor, for his contributions to world peace.

Admiral Rickover retired from the United States Navy on January 31, 1982, after over 63 years of service to his country and to 13 Presidents. His name is memorialized in the attack submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) and Rickover Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy. Admiral Rickover died on July 8, 1986 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

[Biography from http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/cno/n87/rickover.html]