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. 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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