HomeNews & FeaturesFeature StoriesArticle View
NEWS | Sept. 24, 2015

Throwback Thursday — Happy 124th Birthday William F. Friedman!

Infographic Description:

William F. Friedman by the numbers…

52 - The number of years he was married to another noted cryptologist, Elizebeth (Smith) Friedman. She introduced him to the discipline when they met at Riverbank Labs.

34 - The number of years he served as a federal employee. His achievements included being the chief cryptanalyst for the War Department and the Signals Intelligence Service. During his tenure, he solved many cipher machines and co-invented the Sigaba with Frank Rowlett used to protect U.S. communication during World War II. He led a team to cracking The Purple Machine, the Japanese diplomatic code.

20 - The number of patents he was granted. He has the distinction of having one of the longest suppressed patents at 67 years.

12 - The number of available published books. These include the four-part Military Cryptanalysis, which was used as the NSA student textbook for many years.

3 - The number of awards received. These include the Commendation Exceptional Civilian Service (1944), Medal of Merit (1946), and the National Security Medal (1955).

2 - The number of wars he directly supported. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1918 and was stationed in France.

1 - The first. He became the first chief cryptologist for the newly formed National Security Agency in 1952.

124 - Happy 124th Birthday September 24, 1891!