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A Multi-Dimensional Look at General Leslie Groves by Elizabeth Rivelli, Rayonna Adams, and Jessica-Nicole Guzman

General Leslie Groves


  Before the war, Leslie Groves worked on multiple assignments throughout the United States. In October 1934, Groves took the position as the Chief of Engineers and received a promotion as captain. Following his courses held at various colleges, Groves was promoted to major in 1940 and the General Staff in Washington. While there, he oversaw numerous projects including the construction of the Pentagon.  As stated in his bibliography, Groves had a reputation as an officer of high intelligence, and self-confidence. His success throughout his early life led him to oversee a huge number of projects, which made him a great person to take charge of the atomic bomb program. Beginning in September 1942, Leslie Groves took the title as Brigadier General and appointed military director of the nascent Manhattan Engineer District of the US Army Corps of Engineers. While director, he provided the code name "Manhattan", and continued to work on the project until he retired in 1948 . – Rayonna Adams

           Leslie Groves was born on August 17th, 1896 in Albany, New York. Groves attended the University of Washington and shortly after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Later in 1918 Groves, graduated at West Point. Groves also served a brief time in France during World War I. This general aside from graduating in 1918, also graduated from the Command and General Staff School in 1936 at the Army War College in Kansas. In September of 1942 he was placed in charge of the Manhattan Engineer Project where they were making plans for the atomic bomb. Groves was placed in command of all of the phases of the project such as security, planning of the use of the bomb and the science behind it. Two years after he was put in charge of the atomic bomb project, Groves was promoted temporarily as Major General and just four short years after that, Groves was named Chief of the Army’s Special Weapons Project.  He was later promoted, but retired as Lieutenant General in February of 1948. - Jessica Guzman

   After leaving his position as Chief of Engineers in WWII, Leslie Groves established the Manhattan Project, which was a code name for the construction of a nuclear bomb.  To help with the project, he hired acclaimed scientist Robert Oppenheimer, which was of shock to many people, as the two had clashing political views, however, Oppenheimer was appointed as director of the Los Alamos Laboratory.  The majority of the research was conducted at Columbia University, and the University of Chicago.  Groves and his team tested the nuclear weapon at a secluded area in Los Alamos, New Mexico.  On July 16, 1945, Groves and Oppenheimer successfully detonated the bomb at the Alamogordo bombing range. In 1944, he was appointed to Major General of the army, which would be a temporary position, however he also continued to put much of his time into the creation and research of atomic weaponry.  After breaking ties with his army affiliation, Groves served as Vice President of Sperry Rand Corporation until 1961.  On July 13, 1970, Groves died of heart disease, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. – Elizabeth  Rivelli





1. "Leslie Groves." Nuclear Files - From Nuclear Proliferation to Nuclear Testing, from Hiroshima to North Korea, Nuclear Files Offers the A to Z on Nuclear Issues. Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Web. 28 May 2010. <http://www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/library/biographies/bio_groves-leslie.htm>. 

2. "Leslie R. Groves." United States History. Web. 12 Apr. 2010. <http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1626.html>. 

3. Norris, Robert S. "Leslie Richard Groves, Lieutenant General, United States Army." Arlington National Cemetery Website Title Page. 12 Nov. 2000. Web. 12 Apr. 2010. <http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/lggroves.htm>. 

4. Rossenfeld, Carrie. "General Leslie Groves (1896 - 1970)." Atomicarchive.com: Exploring the History, Science, and Consequences of the Atomic Bomb. AJ Software & Multimedia. Web. 12 Apr. 2010. <http://www.atomicarchive.com/Bios/Groves.shtml>. 

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