An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NSA Historical Figures

Arthur Salemme

2005 Hall of Honor Inductee

Arthur Salemme was an expert Russian cryptologist, superb lexicographer, effective teacher, and prolific author. During his years at NSA, he was a catalyst for pioneering breakthroughs in language barriers and problems.

Mr. Salemme earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Georgetown University and began his cryptologic career in 1947 at Arlington Hall, enrolling in an intensive Russian language-training course. During World War II, he performed traffic analysis on Japanese communications. From the 1950s to the mid-1970s, he performed pioneering work in machine translation. His insistence on precision made him one of the best lexicographers of his time, and he became a leading specialist in Russian and German while simultaneously supervising a number of high priority projects that met critical cryptologic requirements.

For years, he served as the editor of NSA's Cryptolog and wrote numerous articles that improved the way NSA language analysts functioned. His last position at NSA was in the Language Research division, where he served as an expert consultant and helped shape language training. He was the first chairman of a panel to certify Russian language proficiency. He also assisted the FBI and the Patent and Trademark Office in establishing, for the first time, an effective system of quality of control for official translations.

Mr. Salemme retired from NSA in 1979 and passed away in April 1999.