J. Robert Oppenheimer

Date of Birth: April 22, 1904

Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: February 18, 1967

Place of Death: Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

J. Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist, and professor. He was the wartime head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, working on The Manhattan Project, the WWII project to develop nuclear weapons. For his role, he is among those described as the “father of the atomic bomb.”

J. Robert was the son of Ella (Friedman), a painter, and Julius Seligmann Oppenheimer, a textile importer. His father was born in Hanau, Hessen, Germany, and was a German Jewish emigrant, who came to the U.S. as a teenager with little resources, eventually becoming wealthy. His mother was born in New York, to a German Jewish family that had lived in the U.S. since the early/mid 1800s.

J. Robert was married to Katherine Oppenheimer, until his death. Katherine was born in Recklinghausen, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire, and was a biologist, botanist, and a member of the Communist Party of America. The couple had two children.

J. Robert’s paternal grandfather was Benjamin Pinhas Oppenheimer (the son of Natan Oppenheimer and Karoline Stern). Benjamin was born in Neuenhaßlau, Hasselroth, Darmstadt, Hessen. Natan was the son of Isaak Oppenheimer and Sara Binjamin. Karoline was the daughter of Kaufmann Stern and Jachet Nathan.

J. Robert’s paternal grandmother was Babette/Babbette Rothfeld/Rootfelt (the daughter of Hirsch Rothfeld and Golda Gattmann). Babette was born in Schwanfeld, Bavaria. Hirsch was born in Westheim, Bavaria, the son of Seligmann Hirsch Rothfeld and Zipper. Golda was the daughter of Jacob Schlomo Gattmann and Hindel Faelklein.

J. Robert’s maternal grandfather was named Louis Friedman. Louis was born in Germany.

J. Robert’s maternal grandmother was Cecilia/Cecelia Eger (the daughter of David Eger and Clara Binswanger). Cecilia was born in Maryland, to German Jewish parents, from Bavaria. Clara was the daughter of Samuel Lemuel Binswanger and Saphira Levinger, who were both the children of rabbis.

Sources: Genealogy of J. Robert Oppenheimer – https://www.geni.com

J. Robert Oppenheimer on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
J. Robert Oppenheimer on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

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