Friday, August 4, 2023

Oppenheimer: The Atomic Adulterer

J. Robert Oppenheimer was a serial adulterer.  He had no qualms about having love affairs with married women.   He got Kitty Harrison pregnant while she was married to her third husband, Richard.  She immediately got a divorce and married Oppenheimer.  He maintained a relationship with an old girlfriend, Jean Tatlock, during his marriage.  He admitted at a security hearing, "I do not think it would be right to say our acquaintance was casual. We had been very much involved with one another, and there was still very deep feeling when we saw each other."  He said that he visited her the last time in July of 1943, at which time the couple spent the night together.  He had an affair with Ruth Tolman, who was the wife of a close friend.  The couple was deeply involved with one another.  They often corresponded to arrange secret getaways.  The correspondence was discovered by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin during research for an Oppenheimer biography, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy.  The Cinemaholic reports, ". . . [S]ome even allege that Richard Tolman was aware of his wife and friend's love affair and died of a broken heart."  

Reference sources

"Did Oppenheimer Cheat on His Wife?," The Cinemaholic

Russell Murray, "Why Oppenheimer's Affair With Ruth Tolman Is More Tragic Than You Think," Looper, July 21, 2023.

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