The American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was married to the biologist Katherine Puening Vissering and had two children. Let’s meet his partner, son and daughter.
We didn’t all intend to see it Oppenheimer– after all, it’s Christopher Nolan’s longest film to date – but then it kind of got intertwined with him Barbie.
Oppenheimer is one of the most anticipated films of 2023. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, the biopic focuses on J. Robert Oppenheimer and his involvement in the Manhattan Project during World War II.
Oppenheimer appeals to history buffs and thriller junkies, but now it’s expanded its offerings to millennial pop princesses.
With an all-star cast led by the brooding Cillian Murphy, the film is an epic portrayal of the man behind the development of the atomic bomb.
As the film continues to gain traction and generates mixed reactions on social media, many are keen to learn more about Julius Robert Oppenheimer’s family. For example, who he was married to and how many children he had. Read on to learn more about Julius Robert Oppenheimer’s personal life.
Who was the wife of J. Robert Oppenheimer?
In November 1940, Oppenheimer tied the knot with his wife, Katherine “Kitty” Puening. And the history of their relationship was incredibly controversial at the time. Kitty was married for the third time before marrying the Manhattan Project mastermind.
When the duo met at a party in 1939, the German-American botanist fell head over heels in love with the theoretical physicist. Less than a year later, Kitty became pregnant with Oppenheimer’s child while still married to her third husband and subsequently filed for divorce.
Who was Katherine Oppenheimer Vissering?
Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer was a German-American botanist and wife of Los Alamos Scientific Director, J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Kitty worked briefly as a biologist and botanist under the direction of Dr. Louis Hempelmann worked as a laboratory assistant in Los Alamos, but gave up after a year. She was also a former member of the American Communist Party.
She was born under the real name Katherine Puening on August 8, 1910 in Recklinghausen, Germany and died on October 27, 1972 in Panama City, Panama. Her ashes were scattered at sea off Carval Rock near Saint John in the US Virgin Islands.
She was also known by the names Katherine Ramseyer; Katherine Dallet; and Katherine Harrison, with all maiden names being their ex-partners’ names.
She studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh.
Puening was married to her first husband, Frank Ramseyer, an American who studied music in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. She later told friends that she found evidence that Ramseyer was homosexual and a drug addict. She also had an abortion.
She later married Richard Stewart Harrison from 1938 to 1940.
She was also involved with Joseph Dallet Jr. from 1934 to 1937 before joining J. Robert Oppenheimer.
How many children did J. Robert Oppenheimer have?
In the more than two decades of marriage between physicist Julius Robert Oppenheimer and Katherine Puening, they were blessed with two children; a son and a daughter. Their children’s names are Peter Oppenheimer and Katherine “Toni” Oppenheimer Silber.
Peter was born in California in 1941 and moved to Los Alamos with his parents when his father became the Los Alamos course director [National] Laboratory. However, he spent most of his childhood in Princeton, New Jersey while his father was director of the Institute for Advanced Study.
Their daughter was born on December 7, 1944 in Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA but died in January 1977.
Where did J. Robert Oppenheimer go to school?
For the task of developing the nuclear weapons that ended World War II, Oppenheimer had to be an expert in his field. And his impressive academic record helped.
Before college, the theoretical physicist attended the Ethical Culture Society School in New York before beginning his bachelor’s degree at Harvard in 1922.
In 1925 Oppenheimer graduated summa cum laude and did research with the British physicist JJ Thompson at the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge in England.
From there, the atomic bomb developer obtained his doctorate. at the age of 22 he studied with the German-British physicist Max Born at the University of Göttingen in Germany.
“Oppenheimer” is based entirely on a true story and a book.
Oppenheimer is a biographical story inspired by a novel about its main character. In the case of OppenheimerWriter-director Christopher Nolan was inspired by the 2005 biopic American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. However, this book is based on the true life story of Robert J. Oppenheimer.
Played by Cillian Murphy in the film, Robert J. Oppenheimer is now known as the “father of the atomic bomb,” but he was a much more complex character. He wasn’t just an evil warmonger bent on bombing Hiroshima. In fact, he was quite the opposite. But his moral gray areas make him a perfect titular character.
Christopher even said so total movie magazine (via player radar), “I think of all the characters I’ve dealt with, Oppenheimer is by far the most ambiguous and paradoxical. That’s saying a lot considering I’ve done three Batman movies.” It certainly is!
Oppenheimer is a household name today for his leadership role in the Manhattan Project. Without him, the hundreds of thousands of civilians who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have lived much longer. But he’s hailed as a complicated character; Without the atomic bomb, the war would probably have lasted much longer and claimed many other lives (though probably not as many innocent lives).
Regardless, Oppenheimer may not have known exactly how the atomic bomb would be used when he built it. First, he and the team were told that they were in a race against Nazi Germany’s development of nuclear weapons. But when Germany surrendered before either country had developed the weapon, the atomic bomb’s use was less clear.
After the devastating bombings in Japan, Oppenheimer spent much of his life campaigning against the use of nuclear weapons. He was so far left politically that he actually had his security clearance revoked during the Red Scare. In addition, investigations into his private life to find out if he had communist connections led to the public disclosure of his affair with Jean Tatlock, who suffered from depression and committed suicide during their affair.