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Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss
Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss (January 31, 1896 – January 21, 1974) was an American businessman, government department head, and a US Naval officer.

Strauss was born in Charleston, West Virginiamarker. He took on a leadership role in the wartime navy, rising to the rank of honorary Rear Admiral, and later became a U.S.marker administrator. He served as chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission between 1953 and 1958. He was Acting Secretary of Commerce between 1958 and 1959; then-President Dwight Eisenhower nominated him for the permanent position, but his nomination was rejected by a 49-46 vote in the United States Senate. Albert Einstein is said to have quipped that AEC was DCspeak for Atomic Extermination Conspiracy.

Strauss is perhaps most remembered as the driving force in the extraconstitutional hearings in which J. Robert Oppenheimer's security clearance was revoked. Strauss painstakingly hunted down Oppenheimer mostly because of the latter's opposition to the development of the hydrogen bomb, as well as for old "derogatory" facts of Oppenheimer's associations with members of the Communist Party during the Spanish Civil War and in the early stages of World War II. A man overcome by egocentric complexes, Strauss had been mocked at by Oppenheimer in June of 1949 while the renowned physicist was testifying before an open session of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy and the businessman did not take it well. Strauss associated himself with William Liscum Borden, a young staff member of the Joint Committee, and together joined forces with J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap Oppenheimer wherever he would go. Strauss even spied on Oppenheimer's conversations with his lawyers in preparation for his hearing at the AEC Personnel Security Board. At the end Lewis Strauss masterminded J. Robert Oppenheimer's downfall because of the latter's left wing political associations of yesteryear, zealously censored by the McCarthyism of the time, not because of his actions per se.

Strauss' failure to be confirmed as Secretary of Commerce was attributed to his role in the Oppenheimer matter along with the large number of political enemies he had created from other activities.

In 1954, as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Strauss also predicted that electricity (generated from atomic energy) would become "too cheap to meter." He may have been referring to hydrogen fusion rather than uranium fission.

On July 14, 1958, Strauss was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Dwight Eisenhower

Strauss died in Brandy Station, Virginiamarker.



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