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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.

Oliver R. Kirby

2008 Hall of Honor Inductee

Oliver Kirby was one of the select group of officers sent to England's Bletchley Park as part of the American contingent in World War II. He worked there first as a linguist, then as a cryptanalyst. At the end of the war, as a member of the joint US-UK Target Intelligence Committee (TICOM) project, he went into newly liberated Germany and took possession of material from German SIGINT personnel for study.

After World War II he was involved in Project VENONA, the exploitation of Soviet espionage communications. He was one of the few selected to distribute VENONA products to the small group of authorized readers.

First with the Armed Forces Security Agency in 1949, then with NSA after 1952, he advanced through the senior ranks of the production organization. In 1964, he became the first civilian Deputy Director for Production. In these positions, he was a strong advocate for new computer support to cryptologic operations.

In a cryptologic career spanning 25 years, Oliver Kirby was known for his analytic ability and organizational acumen. His insight and understanding of NSA's complex technical and world-wide operations contributed to his ability to represent the Agency in negotiations of national and international significance. Almost always in a key management position, Mr. Kirby directed programs of the highest significance to NSA and the Nation.

Mr. Kirby resigned from NSA in 1968 to take a position in private industry.

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