Frank Rowlett: Premier WWII Code Breaker and Cipher Maker

August 20, 2020

Frank Settle discusses his latest book about code breaker Frank Rowlett, who worked with noted cryptanalyst William F. Friedman during World War II. Together they broke the Japanese diplomatic code PURPLE.

Our Virtual Legacy Lecture online premiere is August 20, 2020.

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A part of the George C. Marshall Legacy Series

About the Speaker

Frank A. Settle, Jr. is the author of General George C. Marshall and the Atomic Bomb (2016). He recently authored a chapter titled “To Harness Atomic Power; Marshall and Nuclear Weapons” in George C. Marshall and the Early Cold War: Politics, Policy and Society, edited by William Taylor (Oklahoma University Press, 2020), and is currently working on a book that presents significant contributions of Frank Rowlett, one of code breaker William Friedman’s first employees, to U.S. intelligence. A professor emeritus of chemistry at Washington and Lee University and former director of the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues, Settle was professor of chemistry at the Virginia Military Institute from 1964 to 1992. Before coming to Washington and Lee in 1998, he was a visiting professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, a consultant at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and a program officer at the National Science Foundation. He is also a coauthor of Instrumental Methods of Analysis, 7th ed. (1988) and the editor of The Handbook of Instrumental Analytical Techniques (1999). He has published extensively in scientific, educational, and trade journals. At Washington and Lee University, he developed and taught courses on nuclear history, nuclear power, and weapons of mass destruction for liberal arts majors. Settle received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Emory and Henry College and a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.