Hyman G. Rickover was born in Makow, Russia on January 27, 1900. His family emigrated to the United States of America
in 1906, and ended up in Chicago
. Rickover was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy
in the year 1918. Rickover recieved his comission in 1922, as an ensign in the United States Navy
Rickover served aboard two ships, the USS La Vallette (DD-315) and the USS Nevada (BB-36), after which he went to Columbia University. There, he acquired the degree of Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. In 1929, Rickover became qualified to work on and command submarines. In 1937, Rickover took command of the USS Finch. Shortly afterwards, Rickover became an Engineering Duty Officer, and worked ashore.
When the Second World War broke out, Rickover began serving as the head of the Electrical Section of the Bureau of Ships. After Okinawa was captured, he served as the commanding officer of the naval repair base there.
In 1946, Rickover was assigned to the Atomic Energy Comission's Oak Ridge, Tennessee laboratory. In 1949, he joined the Division of Reactor Development in the AEC, which is where he created his legacy, the naval nuclear reactor.
As head of the Naval Reactors branch, Rickover led the design and construction of the world's first nuclear powered naval vessel, a submarine called the USS Nautilus, SSN-571 (no, NOT like the U-boat movie). The Nautilus (named for Jules Verne's fictional electric powered submarine, commanded by Captain Nemo) put to sea for the first time in 1955. Rickover continued to be a leader in the construction and operation of the United States' nuclear submarine fleet.
Some of Admiral Rickover's awards:
Three Distinguished Service Medals
The Legion of Merit
The Navy Commendation Medal
The World War II Victory Medal
Fifteen honorary degrees
Sixty-One civillian awards, including the Enrico Fermi Award, two Congressional Gold Medals, and President Jimmy Carter's presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the United States' highest non-military honor) for Rickover's contributions to world peace.
Admiral Rickover retired from the US Navy in 1982, after 63 years of service. Rickover died on July 8, 1986. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetary.
Admiral Rickover's name is memorialized in the Los Angeles Class attack submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709).