Explosive Facts About J. Robert Oppenheimer, Father Of The Atomic Bomb

July 7, 2023 | Alicia B.

Explosive Facts About J. Robert Oppenheimer, Father Of The Atomic Bomb


Julius Robert Oppenheimer wasn’t just the father of the weapon that ended WWII and shifted the course of humanity. The super scientist hid love affairs, secrets, and scandals until his enemies publicly exposed and humiliated him. This is the story of a man who gave his country the power to destroy the world—only for them to destroy him.

1. He Was A Super Rich Kid

In 1904, Julius Robert Oppenheimer entered the world with a silver spoon in his mouth. He had his dad, a Jewish German peasant turned Manhattan textiles importer, to thank. The family literally went from rags to riches. How loaded were they? Ella and Julius Seligmann Oppenheimer were Picasso and Van Gogh collecting rich. 

But their son’s genius? That was all him. Unfortunately, so too were his darkest demons.

Robert Oppenheimer in suit solving mat problemsullstein bild Dtl., Getty Images

2. He Was A Wonderkid

His childhood was an experiment that mixed genius, privilege, and doting parents. The results could be hilarious. At 12, he corresponded with geologists and landed the opportunity to give a lecture. But he never mentioned his age. When he showed up, the surprised geologists laughed, but applauded by the end. 

This wouldn’t be the last time he shocked everyone—but no one would be laughing.

Young J. Robert Oppenheimer With his FatherHistorical, Getty Images

3. He Went To A One Of A Kind School

Julius and Ella sent their two sons to the Ethical Culture School, which was an elite academy with a twist. The school educated its students about injustice and their duty to do good. Oppenheimer’s childhood was a bubble of wealth, support, and stimulation. But he couldn’t stay in it forever. He was in for a rude awakening when it popped.

J. Robert Oppenheimer with Brother Frank playingHistorical, Getty Images

4. He Was A Renaissance Man

Oppenheimer went to a small college near Boston you’ve probably never heard of called Harvard. It was a sea of smarts, but he still stood out. Oppenheimer was the rare man of science and humanities. He learned a lot at Harvard, but not all of it was academic or fun. When his bubble burst, anti-Semitism and self-destruction took its place.

Harvard House, Harvard University, Cambridge, MassNew York Public Library, Picryl

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5. He Was Self-Destructive

Oppenheimer could be arrogant and annoying—but he knew it. He even pitied anyone “unfortunate enough to come into contact with me”. But family and friends realized he was battling more than an ego. Oppenheimer struggled with dark moods where he isolated himself and barely ate. 

When Oppenheimer hit rock bottom, he took the wrong people down with him.

Robert Oppenheimer portrait in suitMisha Shifman, Picryl

6. He Went Too Far

Some could forgive, but they could never forget. When Oppenheimer’s friend Francis Fergusson noticed he was depressed, he announced his engagement. Francis hoped to cheer his friend up—but it quickly turned into a horror show. When he turned his back, Oppenheimer strangled him. 

After Francis escaped, Oppenheimer collapsed onto the floor sobbing. His instability quickly claimed more victims.

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, atomic physicist and head of the Manhattan ProjectNational Archives at College Park, Wikimedia Commons

7. He Lost Control Of Himself

Oppenheimer didn’t have a lot (or any) experience with women, and the story he told his friend Francis about how he gained some was horrible. He was in a train car with a couple who were making out. Unfortunately for them, Oppenheimer was also in the midst of a breakdown.

When the woman’s partner left, Oppenheimer took the man’s place—and I don’t mean his seat. It get worse.

Julius Oppenheimer circa 1952: American nuclear physicist Dr Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904 - 1967), who worked on America's atom bomb project during the 1940's.Fox Photos, Getty Images

8. He Was Unhinged

Without asking, he kissed the woman. Oppenheimer was horrified when he snapped out of it. He fell to his knees, wept and begged for forgiveness. He ran away—but the woman’s ordeal wasn’t over. As Oppenheimer walked upstairs, he noticed her below…and his darkest thoughts took over.

Somehow it occurred to him to aim for her head and drop his suitcase. Luckily, he missed, and went to meet his parents—only to find out that they had a surprise for him.

Portrait of J. Robert Oppenheimer from Los Alamos. circa 1944/5Los Alamos National Laboratory, Wikimedia Commons

9. He Had No Luck With The Ladies

Turns out, Julius and Ella brought high school classmate Inez along. While neither Oppenheimer nor Inez cared for romance, they played along and were even engaged. But it didn’t last. One night, they snuck into Inez’s room and crawled into her bed. However, instead of doing what a young couple might do…they just wept together, until Ella barged in.

Everyone hoped his time at Cambridge University would be the cure, but Oppenheimer became even sicker.

Young J. Robert Oppenheimer with MotherHistorical, Getty Images

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10. He Wanted Revenge

Patrick Blackett would become a famous physicist, but in 1925, he was Oppenheimer’s tutor—and victim. During another one of his breakdowns, Oppenheimer doused an apple in harmful chemicals and left it on Patrick’s desk. After the university discovered his rotten plan, Oppenheimer faced expulsion and even prosecution. That is, until his parents joined the fray.

Once again, he got away with it. But mom and dad wouldn’t always be around to save Oppenheimer from ruin—or himself.

Giuseppe ('Beppo') P.S. Occhialini (1907–1993) and Patrick M.S. Blackett (1897–1974) in 1932 or 1933Giuseppe Occhialini and Constance Dilworth Archive , Wikimedia Commons

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11. He Had A Glow Up

Oppenheimer seemed to be on a one-way path to self-destruction—but one day, everything changed. No one knows what exactly happened to make Oppenheimer transform, since he refused to elaborate. But what we do know is that by the time he made his way to the University of Göttingen, he was unrecognizable.

Friends and admirers couldn’t help but notice he was brilliant, handsome, well-dressed, charming, and generous. The world was his for the taking—well, it almost was.

University Library GöttingenTanzania, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons

12. He Made An Unbelievable Mistake

After Oppenheimer nailed his final exam, examiner James Franck said “I got out of there just in time. He was beginning to ask me questions”. The physicists thought they were finally free of the brilliant yet annoying PhD student. They technically were…until the university made a shocking discovery. It turns out, Oppenheimer never officially registered as a student. It also turns out that universities can withhold degrees for that.

His advisor Max Borns insisted that his poor student was literally poor and couldn’t afford to stay in Germany any longer. They took pity and Oppenheimer took his PhD. But the thing is: Max told a massive lie—and boy did Oppenheimer’s admirers know it.

Robert Oppenheimer in the second rowPhoto by Paul Ehrenfest's (1880-1933) designee., Wikimedia Commons

13. He Was A Catch

Physics wasn’t Göttingen’s only attraction. On a train ride, a young female physicist named Charlotte Riefenstahl noticed a suitcase that was more expensive than anyone else’s—by a long shot. She turned to a professor and asked, “What a beautiful thing. Whose is it”? He replied: “Who else but Oppenheimer’s”. 

Charlotte asked someone else to point him out. She switched seats and made her move.

The German physicist Fritz Houtermans (1903–1966), his daughter Giovanna and his wife, the German physicochemist Charlotte Houtermans (1903–1993), née Riefenstahl, in Berlin, 1933Unknown author, Wikimedia Commons

14. He Had A Crush

Oppenheimer realized that Charlotte wasn’t just a beauty and a physicist. She, like him, was well-read. It was literature at first sight. Charlotte even picked Oppenheimer over his rival and fellow physicist Friedrich Houtermans. Sadly, they had an expiration date, since he was headed home. Before leaving, he gifted Charlotte the suitcase.

She kept it for the next 30 years and called it The Oppenheimer. But Oppenheimer attracted far more than women.

J. Robert Oppenheimer at the Guest Lodge, Oak Ridge, in 1946Ed Westcott (U.S. Government photographer), Wikimedia Commons

15. He Was A Big Deal

Cheese and much of Oppenheimer’s work share something in common: they get better with time. Some haven’t just aged well, they’ve become foundation to their fields nearly a century later. It’s no wonder that college after college lavished him with job offers. The CalTech and Berkeley-bound physicist was enjoying his last weeks in New York City when a blast from the past showed up.

Dr. Julius Robert Oppenheimer, chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission (1946-1952)Historical, Getty Images

16. He Knew How To Spend It

While multiple friends from Göttingen visited New York City, only one really mattered: Charlotte Riefenstahl. Oppenheimer pulled out all the stops—from fine dining to limos—to impress her. It worked. Charlotte and Oppenheimer were back on and better than ever; he even introduced her to Julius and Ella.

 It seemed too good to be true. Sadly, it was.

An informal portrait of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the nuclear physicist who served as director of the Los Alamos laboratory (1943-5), for the atom bomb project during World War II.Historical, Getty Images

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17. He Had Relationship Problems

While J Robert Oppenheimer happily opened his wallet, he couldn’t open up in the ways that really mattered. Charlotte realized he was emotionally unavailable. They drifted apart and going long distance was the nail in the coffin. Then the knife twisted further. Charlotte ended up marrying Fritz Houtermans, after all.

Meanwhile, Oppenheimer ended up in California…with its many women.

The German physicist Friedrich „Fritz“ Georg Houtermans (1903–1966) at University of GöttingenUnknown author, Wikimedia Commons

18. He Was Magnetic

If Oppeinheimer’s charm sprouted in Göttingen, it flourished in California. Women wanted to be with him, and his students wanted to be him. To everyone else’s amusement, Oppenheimer’s students even copied his speech and habits. But when it came to women…it didn’t always end well. Okay, it usually didn’t end well. Here we go again.

Photograph taken in early 1946 shows  Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist on the Berkeley facility. c. 1946ENERGY.GOV, Wikimedia Commons

19. He Was Reckless

Oppenheimer, genius physicist that he was, decided to race a train with girlfriend Natalie Raymond in the passenger seat. The consequences were disastrous. He crashed the car. Oppenheimer felt perfectly fine—until he saw Natalie’s unresponsive body. 

Fortunately, she was only unconscious. Unfortunately, they called it quits. But Oppenheimer moved on faster than the speed of light.

Robert Oppenheimer with colleagues in front of a planeENERGY.GOV, Wikimedia Commons

20. He Was The Other Man

Oppenheimer found a specific type of woman irresistible: married ones. This included the wives of friends and colleagues. Did he burn bridges? Yup. Did he stop? Nope. Sparks flew when Oppenheimer met Helen Campbell, a colleague’s fiancée. After just a few dinners and walks, she learned not to get involved, because he was a player. Unfortunately, others didn’t get this memo.

Eric Jette, Charles Critchfield, and J. Robert Oppenheimer at Los Alamos circa 1945US Department of Energy, Wikimedia Commons

21. He Abandoned His Girlfriend

Oppenheimer and his PhD student Melba Phillips went on a scenic drive that was supposed to be romantic. Key words: supposed to. It turned into a seriously bizarre scene. During the date, he went on a short walk while she remained in his car.

When Oppenheimer returned, he decided to walk home instead. He told Melba to drive back on her own. Well, Oppenheimer thought he did.

Melba Phillips Eating Ice CreamAIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

22. He Got A Taste Of Infamy

Turns out, Melba was asleep. When she woke up, he was gone. Melba anxiously waited two hours until she informed some officers. They, like Melba, assumed the worst. But the officers eventually found Oppenheimer asleep in his bed. This incident made headlines around the world. 

It was the first time he made the headlines, but was far from the last.

Isidor Isaac Rabi, Dorothy McKinnon, Robert Oppenheimer and Victor Weisskopf at Oppenheimer's home in 1944United States Army, Wikimedia Commons

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23. He Met “The One”

When Oppenheimer met Jean Tatlock in 1936, he had no idea this was a turning point in his life. At the time, all he knew was that she was 22 years old, intelligent, a medical student, and gorgeous. After a courtship, he learned that Jean was an official member of the Communist Party and struggling with her mental health. 

He didn’t care and jumped in heart first.

Oppenheimer Marshall Conant Bradley And Others At HarvardUnknown author, Wikimedia Commons

24. He Had No Idea What Was Going On

For a genius, Oppenheimer was shockingly ignorant. Even more shocking was he chose ignorance by not reading the news or voting. Oppenheimer confessed that he learned about the Great Depression six months after Wall Street crashed. When Oppenheimer finally took his head out of the clouds (or calculations), what he saw was beyond disturbing.

Bank of the United States failure  c.1931World Telegram staff photographer, Wikimedia Commons

25. He Did A 180

Oppenheimer woke up in 1934 and saw a world on fire. This, along with Jean’s influence, lit a spark inside him. He made donations to and advocated for progressive causes. This included donating part of his salary to physicists fleeing Germany. But critics thought he flirted too closely with Communist Party and their causes. Again, Oppenheimer didn’t care…for now.

J. Robert Oppenheimer at Los Alamos and other scientists talking to each otherENERGY.GOV, Wikimedia Commons

26. They Were Incompatible

Push and pull are more than physics concepts; they also explain the tragedy of Oppenheimer and Jean. At one point, she told him to stop with the flowers. How did Oppenheimer respond? He brought her another bouquet, of course. Jean threw it to the ground and told her friend to “Tell him to go away, tell him I am not here”. 

Their relationship got even darker.

Oppenheimer and Lawrence at the 184-inch cyclotron, University of California (Berkeley) Radiation Laboratory 	circa 1946ENERGY.GOV, Wikimedia Commons

27. He Was Too Attached

Misery loves company—especially Jean’s misery. When Jean succumbed to her dark moods, the aftermath was brutal. She lashed out at Oppenheimer and dragged him down with her. She even disappeared for weeks or months. When Jean came back, she’d taunt him with what—or who—she’d been doing.

Friends speculate that Jean wanted to hurt him because she knew that he loved her too much. One day, Jean knew what she had to do.

J. Robert Oppenheimer and Ernest O. Lawrence forged a bond of friendship as young scientists at BerkeleyENERGY.GOV, Wikimedia Commons

28. He Got Dumped

In 1939, Jean broke the heartbreaker’s heart. They remained forever friends and occasional lovers, but never anything more. Oppenheimer tried moving on—and broke more than a few hearts in the process. Then he met Kitty Harrison, and once more it was lust at first sight. 

The feeling was mutual, but there was a catch.

Emily Blunt as Kitty Oppenheimer  outside surrounded  by sheets in green sweaterUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

29. He Was Shameless

Kitty was just his type: beautiful, younger, communist…and most importantly married. They debuted their relationship at a party and scandalized everyone. It wasn’t only because she was a newlywed. The host of this event just happened to be Oppenheimer’s most recent lover. 

Somehow, he found himself in an even more awkward situation.

Robert Oppenheimer with State Department's Atomic Consultants at Guest House 1946 Oak Ridgedoe-oakridge, Wikimedia Commons

30. He Was A Homewrecker

There’s audacity and then there’s…whatever Oppenheimer had. He invited Kitty and her husband Stewart to his ranch for the summer. Stewart couldn’t make it, but Kitty sure went. By the end of the summer, Kitty was pregnant. The phone call to Stewart was excruciating. 

They divorced so she and Oppenheimer could marry. Did they live happily ever after? Not quite. And his life was going to get even messier. 

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer wearing suit and hat and his familyUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

31. He Knew How To Win WWII

In the middle of WWII, Oppenheimer found his calling. He watched as his fellow scientists raced to build an atomic bomb before the Germans, and he wanted in. Desperately. He believed two things. One, creating and using it was the right thing to do. Two, his skills were essential.

 Other scientists and officials felt the same way. But Oppenheimer’s past came back to haunt him.

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer with hand in front talking to someone in suitUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

32. He Had Red Flags

The deeper the FBI dug, the more red flags they uncovered. Oppenheimer’s political past—and present—made getting a security clearance a pipe dream. While he was never a member of the Communist Party, its current and past members included his wife, lovers, family, friends, and colleagues. 

They saw him as a walking security risk—but one the world needed. Oppenheimer traded everything to become the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, the Manhattan Project’s secret lab.

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer in suit and hatUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

33. He Was Stalked

The FBI ended up stalking—sorry, “investigating”—Oppenheimer for years. They wiretapped his office, house and phone. They also followed his movements 24/7, monitored mail, and had undercover agents infiltrate his staff. Oppenheimer put up with so much because he didn’t “want to let anything interfere with my usefulness to the nation”—but everyone has a breaking point. 

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer in suit looking angryUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

34. He Was The Most Important Physicist

Oppenheimer confessed that he wanted out. Robert Bacher replied “There isn’t anybody else who can do it” and he was right. Without Oppenheimer, the Manhattan Project wouldn’t have finished the bomb in time; Germany might’ve even beaten the Allies to it. He rose to the occasion as a brilliant physicist, and perhaps an even better leader. But this came at a hefty cost.

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer and colleagues in movieUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

35. His Wife Couldn’t Take It Anymore

While Oppenheimer became the beloved leader and heartthrob of Los Alamos, Kitty sat in the corner drinking and drinking. She reached her breaking point after giving birth to their daughter Katherine. She took their son Peter and went away for nearly four months, while leaving their daughter Katherine with her friend Pat Sherr. 

She left Oppenheimer to his own devices, which just so happened to be scandalous. 

J. Robert Oppenheimer Family at HomeHistorical, Getty Images

36. He Started Juicy Rumors

Oppenheimer faced a dilemma that should’ve been a no brainer. He needed a new secretary and had his pick of the most experienced ones. Instead, he chose Anne Wilson. She was a newbie who just happened to be young, beautiful and an admirer. But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

Oppenheimer’s choice sparked the rumor mill—and what he did next set it ablaze.

Robert Oppenheimer and colleaguesLos Alamos National Laboratory (Attribution or Attribution), Wikimedia Commons

37. He Was Rejected

Every few days, Anne received a rose without a card. By the time she figured out that Oppenheimer was the sender, rumors of an affair spread like wildfire. Kitty got wind of this and confronted Anne. Turns out, she wasn’t romantically interested in her boss; Anne was actually more interested in befriending his wife.

Kitty didn’t realize that she worried about the wrong woman.

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer in white shirt and tieUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

38. He Wanted What He Couldn’t Have

Three is a crowd, and four is just straight up messy. Not that Oppenheimer and psychologist Ruth Tolman cared during their years-long affair. She was 11 years older, elegant, a family friend and of course, married. Of course, Oppenheimer was still in love with Jean Tatlock, too...but it was his professional life that was about to get truly tangled. 

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer and colleagues in movieUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

39. He Changed The World—And Knew It

On July 16, 1945, Oppenheimer didn’t just witness history—he made it. If Trinity, the first detonation of a nuke, failed, they’d have wasted precious time and billions of dollars. But after a blinding and scorching light consumed the desert night, celebrations erupted. 

Oppenheimer couldn’t help but think of a line from Hindu scripture: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”.

Trinity Test - Oppenheimer And Groves At Ground Zero 001United States Army Signal Corps, Wikimedia Commons

40. He Had Tunnel Vision

When in doubt, trust Oppenheimer? When more scientists worried about the ethics of the Manhattan Project, he always doubled down on the belief that they were doing the right thing. They would end WWII—and maybe even all wars. But then, toward the end, they made a disturbing realization. 

The fact that they’d be dropping nukes on people finally sunk in. However, they were past the point of no return.

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer in suit and hatUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

41. He Ended WWII

After the US defeated Germany, only Japan remained. Some argued the US should just demonstrate the nukes in an isolated area. But those insisting on dropping nukes into the heart of Hiroshima and Nagasaki prevailed. Oppenheimer’s indirect casualty count shot into the thousands, and he had big feelings about it.

Making the nuclear bombUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

42. He Felt Like The Anti-Hero

Oppenheimer became a superhero in the US, but he felt more like an anti-hero. “I feel I have blood on my hands”, Oppenheimer confessed to President Truman. He felt guilty and conflicted—and that was before he realized the government knew Japan was considering surrendering and that nuking civilians wasn’t necessary. 

To make matters even worse, it ended one war but started an arms race. Oppenheimer knew what he had to do.

R. OPPENHEIMER AWARDED MEDALENERGY.GOV, Wikimedia Commons

43. He Took A Stand

Oppenheimer became an expert in physics, nuclear policy—and making enemies. He used his fame and positions of power to criticize the government. He wasn’t shy. Oppenheimer refused to support the development of an even more powerful nuke. He infuriated many powerful people, but they knew exactly how to shut him up. For good.

Los Alamos Laboratory presents award to Oppenheimer at the end of the war circa 1945ENERGY.GOV, Wikimedia Commons

44. He Had Big Enemies

Oppenheimer couldn’t shake the dread that a storm was coming. In 1953, disaster arrived. After years of obsessing and stalking, politician Lewis Strauss and his pack made their move. Oppenheimer never saw this coming. Strauss and his people threatened an investigation and hearing on his trustworthiness. 

They aimed to destroy his reputation and power—but there was still a way out.

Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss sitting and signing papersNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce [1], Wikimedia Commons

45. He Gambled With His Life

Oppenheimer could give his enemies what they wanted by voluntarily resigning and giving up his security clearance. No less than Albert Einstein encouraged him to avoid the “outrageous” witch hunt. But Oppenheimer saw this as agreeing that he was unfit to serve his country, and he decided to fight these charges.

Einstein called him a fool… and he might’ve been right.

Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer in a posed photograph at the Institute for Advanced StudyUS Govt. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Wikimedia Commons

46. He Was Canceled And Humiliated

In 1954, Strauss' security hearing started, and turned into the worst four weeks of Oppenheimer's life. Strauss and his cronies publicly tore Oppenheimer’s past and present apart to show his untrustworthiness. However, they just proved that he was a flawed person, not a security risk. But the damage was done. 

This fight had been rigged all along and he never stood a chance. Oppenheimer lost his security clearance one day before it expired.

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer and colleaguesUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

47. He Stayed A True Patriot

Oppenheimer had more than a few failed relationships under his belt—but nothing like this. Outraged friends and colleagues encouraged him to go abroad, but he tearfully replied: “I happen to love this country”. Einstein stated that Oppenheimer’s problem was “he loves a woman who doesn’t love him—the United States government”. 

He never recovered from this heartbreak.

J.Robert Oppenheimer TestifyingBettmann, Getty Images

48. He Was Never The Same

Oppenheimer tried to act fine, but his family and friends knew better. His enemies failed to prove that he was a security risk, a communist, or a traitor. But they succeeded in breaking him physically, emotionally, politically, and academically. By the time Oppenheimer’s legacy emerged from the rubble, it was too late.

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer in older age wearing suit and hatUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

49. He Had A Tragic End

Oppenheimer, thinking he was the picture of health, once joked: “I am going to outlive every one of you”. He was in for a devastating surprise. A few months later, his doctor said the dreaded C word. The hearing broke Oppenheimer, but cancer dealt the final blow. 

On February 18, 1967—a year after diagnosis—he died at 62. But Oppenheimer’s story is far from over.

BRADBURY AND OPPENHEIMER talking to someoneENERGY.GOV, Wikimedia Commons

50. His Life Was Too Short

Oppenheimer never got to see his reputation and legacy fully restored—but it’s finally getting started. Historians largely see him as the biggest victim of anti-communism hysteria. In 2022, the government finally tossed out their 1954 decision.

They confirmed what his family, friends and colleagues knew all along: Oppenheimer’s love and service of his nation never wavered.

J. Robert Oppenheimer (left) and John von Neumann at the October 1952 dedication of the computer built for the Institute for Advanced StudyUnknown, Wikimedia Commons

51. He Received Devastating News

In early 1944, Jean passed. She had either lost the battle with her demons…or the CIA, depending on who you ask. Either way, a devastated Oppenheimer felt responsible—and the reason why was chilling. He was a key part of Jean’s support system until he cut her off with no explanation due to his top secret work. 

Some even consider Jean the first casualty of his work.

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer in dark clothes speaking to someoneUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

52. He Was A Bad Dad

And the father of the year award goes to…not Oppenheimer. Remember when his wife dropped off his daughter with a friend when she needed to get away? Well, first off, Oppenheimer barely visited the girl. Then, when he did, it somehow got even more awkward. 

When he saw how much the family friend loved Katherine, his reaction was baffling. He asked: “Would you like to adopt her”? He then admitted “ I can’t love her”. Oof. Except there's more. 

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer in suit and  hatUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)

53. His Love Life Was A Mess

Oppenheimer and Kitty's marriage was truly dysfunctional, mostly because he treated his vows more like friendly suggestions and, you know, was in love with Jean for the whole time. But before anyone feels too bad for Kitty, she did confess herself to a friend that she intentionally got pregnant to bag Oppenheimer. 

Emily Blunt as Kitty Oppenheimer in green top talking to Cillian Murphy as Robert OppenheimerUniversal Pictures, Oppenheimer (2023)


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