Hyman Rickover must be the the unlikeliest admiral in American history. A Jewish refugee from Poland who arrived in the United States at the age of 6, Rickover would transform the United States Navy into a nuclear colossus. He was never popular with the Navy brass, perhaps in part because he was a Jew and a difficult personality, but he found allies in Congress, including Senator Henry Jackson. His dedication to the United States, and to U.S. military power, was unmatched. Tomorrow night, PBS will air a documentary about his life and his extraordinary achievements produced by Michael and Gina Pack. Here are some of things people said about this brilliant but prickly father of the U.S. nuclear Navy:
He was the greatest engineer who ever lived on earth, in my opinion.
— President Jimmy Carter
The bottom line is that Rickover was genius and a SOB.
— Norman Polmar, naval historian
And as he described his own calling: “My job was not to work within the system. My job was to get things done and make this country strong.”
Do tune in. The Packs are only conservative documentarians to consistently sell product to PBS.