J. Robert Oppenheimer

By Diego Gonzalez



April 22, 1904

Born to a wealthy Jewish family in New York City.


May 29, 1921

Graduates from Ethical Culture School, New York.

Graduates from Harvard

May 28, 1925

Oppenheimer graduates from Harvard University with a major in chemistry.

Goes to England

September 10, 1925

Oppenheimer goes to England to study physics at Cambridge University.

Goes to Germany

May 10, 1926

Oppenheimer was invited to work in Germany at Gottingen University.

Recieves PhD


Oppenheimer receives his PhD from Gottingen University.

Accepts an offer as an associate professor


Oppenheimer accepts an offer a an associate professor from the University of California.

Promoted to full professor

May 10, 1936

Berkeley promotes Oppenheimer to a full professor.

Gets married

November 1, 1940

Oppenheimer marries Katherine Puening Harrison, a Berkeley student, and former member of the Communist Party.

Son is born

May 14, 1941

Oppenheimer's first son, Peter, is born.

Joins the Manhattan Project

September 1, 1942

Oppenheimer is selected to head the Manhattan Project's secret weapon laboratory.

Second child born

December 7, 1944

Oppenheimer's second child, Katherine, is born.

First atomic bomb test

July 16, 1945

Oppenheimer witnesses the first atomic bomb explosion, in New Mexico. He quotes, "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

Receives Presidential Medal of Merit


Oppenheimer is awarded the Medal of Merit from President Harry S. Truman.

Director of Institute of Advanced Study


Oppenheimer becomes director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.

Chairmen of AEC


Oppenheimer is appointed as the Chairman of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Suspended from AEC

December 21, 1953

Oppenheimer is suspended from the AEC for having Communist ties.

Legion of Honor

September, 1957

France makes Oppenheimer an officer in the National Order of the Legion on Honor.

Royal Society in Britain

May 3, 1962

Oppenheimer was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society in Britain.

Receives Enrico Fermi Award


President Lyndon Johnson awards Oppenheimer the Enrico Ferni Award.


February 18, 1967

Oppenheimer dies after a fight with throat cancer.