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Cryptologic Hall of Honor

The Cryptologic Hall of Honor was created in 1999 to pay special tribute to the pioneers and heroes who rendered distinguished service to American cryptology.

The standards are high for induction into this great hall. The individuals honored were innovators over their entire careers or made major contributions to the structure and processes of American cryptology. The men and women who have been inducted to the Cryptologic Hall of Honor are all greats in the once silent world of cryptology.

In the early days of America's cryptologic effort, many of the "giants" did both Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance. They made important contributions to both offensive and defensive cryptology. As such, they were among the first inducted into the Cryptologic Hall of Honor. 

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Lester K. Myers, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Lester K. Myers
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Lester K. Myers, former NSA Senior Language Analyst, mentor, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Dr. Whitfield Diffie, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Dr. Whitfield Diffie
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Dr. Whitfield Diffie, computer security pioneer and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Barbara A. McNamara, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Barbara A. McNamara
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Barbara A. McNamara, former NSA Executive Assistant to the Director, former NSA representative to the Department of Defense, former Deputy Director NSA, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Dr. David Kahn, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Dr. David Kahn
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Dr. David Kahn, Journalist, Author, former NSA Scholar-in-Residence, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

George R. Cotter 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
George R. Cotter
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About George R. Cotter, former NSA Chief of Staff, NSA Chief Scientist, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Alan Turing

2014 Hall of Honor Inductee

It can be argued that Bletchley Park from 1939 to 1945 housed the greatest aggregation of brainpower ever in one place at one time. Among that crowd of intellectuals was a theoretician whose concepts underpin seventy years of computing, and whose work turned sophisticated encrypted messages into actionable intelligence, contributing to victory in World War II. This was Alan Turing.

At Britain's Government Code & Cypher School, Dr. Turing developed an analytic approach for the ENIGMA that would outlast German operational changes. He also took responsibility for the naval ENIGMA problem, which nobody had yet solved. He developed an early solution and became operational chief of Hut 8, the naval cryptanalysts.

Dr. Turing's interest in artificial intelligence led him to develop the "Turing Machine," which is still used as a basic teaching device in computer science. During World War II his theories about machines in analysis were used to develop COLOSSUS, which processed very high-grade enciphered communications and that many consider the world's first operational computer.

Dr. Turing made no attempt to hide his homosexuality, and he was accepted without hesitation by his colleagues. However, because homosexual acts were illegal in Great Britain at the time, he faced legal repercussions. He eventually took his own life.

Dr. Turing's cryptologic accomplishments in World War II saved thousands of lives and shortened the war, while his theories and work led to development of the modern computer. His towering achievements changed cryptology and the world at large, and continue to do so today.