William Friedman

Wolfe Frederick Friedman (1891 - 1969)

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LTC Wolfe Frederick (William) "Bill" Friedman
Born in Kishinev, Bessarabia Governoratemap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Father of [private daughter (1920s - unknown)] and [private son (1920s - unknown)]
Died in Washington, D.C., United Statesmap
Profile manager: Jill Lee private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 21 Jan 2018
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William Frederick Friedman (September 24, 1891 – November 12, 1969) was a US Army cryptographer who ran the research division of the Army's Signal Intelligence Service (SIS) in the 1930s, and parts of its follow-on services into the 1950s. In 1940, subordinates of his led by Frank Rowlett broke Japan's PURPLE cipher, thus disclosing Japanese diplomatic secrets before America's entrance into World War II.


Wolf was born on September 24, 1891, in Kishinev, Bessarabia Governorate (Russia), the son of Frederick Friedman, a Jew from Bucharest who worked as a translator and linguist for the Russian Postal Service, and the daughter of a well-to-do wine merchant. Friedman's family fled Russia in 1892 to escape the virulent anti-Semitism there, ending up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[1] Three years later, his first name was changed to William. William As a child, "Bill" was first introduced to cryptology by Edgar Allan Poe through his short story "The Gold-Bug", which had been published in 1843.

He passed away in 1969.


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No known carriers of William's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 4
William F. Friedman
William F. Friedman

William F. Friedman and Elizebeth Smith Friedman
William F. Friedman and Elizebeth Smith Friedman

Monument to Elizabeth (Smith) and LTC William F. Frieman
Monument to Elizabeth (Smith) and LTC William F. Frieman

Bust of William Friedman by Richard Nachman
Bust of William Friedman by Richard Nachman


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