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NSA Historical Figures

Arthur J. Levenson

2009 Hall of Honor Inductee

Arthur J. Levenson made major contributions to U.S. cryptology as a mathematician, cryptanalyst and innovative manager of major operational and research efforts.

At the start of WW II, he was assigned to the Signal Corps and the Army's Signal Security Service. In 1943 he was selected as a member of the first U.S. Army group to join the British wartime code breaking organization at Bletchley Park. There he worked against both the ENIGMA and TUNNY cipher machines.

At the end of the war Mr. Levenson was part of an elite group of British and American officers in the TICOM Program; they were sent to Germany to track down German cipher equipment and to locate and interrogate German cryptanalysts.

Mr. Levenson was first a member, and then Chief of the Technical Consultants group, the prestigious cryptanalytic organization, which was given the most difficult cryptanalytic problems and where new diagnostic techniques were developed.

Mr. Levenson also became chief of the major operational unit of NSA. Under his leadership the exploitation and reporting functions were refocused to enhance current reporting, with one Division, devoted to supporting the emerging National SIGINT Operations Center (NSOC).

Before he retired from NSA in December 1973, Mr. Levenson served as Chief of the Machine Processing Organization, responsible for maintenance and operation of a large NSA facility that housed commercial off-the-shelf and sophisticated special purpose computers. While there, he also saw the need to introduce professionals from private industry into the computer management structure.

After his retirement from NSA, Mr. Levenson continued to make contributions to cryptology, this time at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he helped to develop data encryption techniques.

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