Who Was Admiral Rickover?

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Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, 1900-1986, was raised in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood and graduated from John Marshall High School in 1918. He is known as the "Father of the Nuclear Navy" and served an unprecedented 63 years on active duty. He was one of the most successful—and controversial—public servants of the 20th century.

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In 1951, he handpicked and supervised a team of talented engineers to design and construct the first nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus. His team accomplished this task in only three years. This was the first use of a controlled nuclear reactor, which transformed submarine warfare and laid the groundwork for a fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and cruisers, also built by Admiral Rickover's team.

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His contribution to the U.S. Navy revolutionized propulsion, control, safety standards, personnel selection, training, and education, and had wide-ranging effects on the defense establishment and the civilian nuclear energy field.

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Admiral Rickover and his nuclear submarine, the Nautilus, were featured in the cover story of TIME Magazine on January 11, 1954.

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Remembering Adm. Hyman G. Rickover: Father of the Nuclear Navy


Admiral Rickover was well known for his meetings with those who served with him in the Navy. Read personal accounts from those who have met Admiral Rickover.