The Bradbury Years
Norris Bradbury was the architect of the modern Los Alamos National Laboratory. Bradbury, who succeeded J. Robert Oppenheimer as director in 1945, served until his retirement in 1970. When Bradbury became director in 1945, most of the nation's scientific and political leadership thought the role of the Laboratory ended with the end of World War II.
According to former Director Sig Hecker, "Norris had the vision and the foresight to recognize that the national security job of the Laboratory was not over, but only beginning, furthermore, he had the wisdom to recognize the value of laboratories like Los Alamos to the nation in areas broader than national security - helping to strengthen the nation's world position in basic science plus contributing to civilian challenges such as nuclear energy, magnetic fusion and the Rover nuclear rocket program."
During his tenure, all but 7 of the 56 major LANL nuclear weapon designs to actually reach the U.S. arsenal were conceived. Nearly all of the principal technical developments in nuclear weapons occurred at Los Alamos while Bradbury was at the helm. This includes the development of the world's first thermonuclear device and the world's first deployed thermonuclear weapons.
Remember His Era
Norris Bradbury remembered as architect of the Lab, Daily Newbulletin, August 22, 1997
Former Lab director Norris Bradbury dead, Daily Newsbulletin, August 21, 1997
Former Los Alamos Director Norris Bradbury dies, Press Release, August 21, 1997