Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957

Alternative names
Birth 1903-12-28
Death 1957-02-08
English, Hungarian

Biographical notes:

John (Johann) Louis von Neumann (1903-1957) was born in Budapest and showed early signs of being a child prodigy. He entered the University of Budapest in 1921, but also attended the University of Berlin and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology before obtaining a degree in chemical engineering in 1925. He earned his Doctorate in Mathematics from the University of Budapest in 1927. After graduation, he worked at the University of Berlin before becoming a visiting professor to Princeton from 1930-1953. Concurrent with his time at Princeton was the development of the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), of which he was an active participant working with the creation of an IAS computer. He became a U.S. citizen in the 1930s. His interests and fields of study included early computers and computing, hydrodynamics, ballistics, meteorology, statistics, quantum theory, and game theory (which he founded). His knowledge and expertise in these areas allowed him to assist the U. S. government during WWII, including working with the Los Alamos National Laboratory (the Manhattan Project), and he continued with this work even after the war. During the 1950s, Von Neumann was employed as a consultant with IBM: his only patent was filed for them in 1954.

From the guide to the John Von Neumann Collection 2003-096., 1913-1925, 1942-1956, 1989-1992, (Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Mathematician, atomic energy commissioner, and educator.

From the description of John Von Neumann papers, 1912-1996 (bulk 1935-1957). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70982518

John Von Neumann earned his Doctorate in Mathematics from the University of Budapest in 1927. He worked at the University of Berlin, and then Princeton University until his death in 1957. His interests included computing, quantum theory, and game theory. Von Neumann was also employed as a consultant for IBM (1950s).

From the description of Von Neumann, John, collection, 1913-1992. (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 52570382

Hungarian born John Von Neumann is generally regarded as one of the foremost mathematicians of the 20th century.

The Magnetic Drum Digital Differential Analyzer (MADDIDA) was a computer built by Northrop Aircraft Corporation in 1950.

From the description of John Von Neumann collection, 1919-1966 (bulk 1919-1949) (Princeton University Library). WorldCat record id: 216942184

Biographical Note

  • 1903, Dec. 28: Born, Budapest, Hungary
  • 1926: Ph.D., University of Budapest,Budapest, Hungary
  • 1929: Married Mariette Kovesi (divorced 1937)
  • 1930: Immigrated to United States
  • 1930 - 1933 : Visiting professor, Princeton University,Princeton, N.J.
  • 1932: Published Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik. Berlin: J. Springer
  • 1933 - 1957 : Research professor of mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study,Princeton, N.J.
  • 1937: Naturalized United States citizen
  • 1939: Married Klara Dan
  • 1940 - 1957 : Member, Scientific Advisory Committee,Ballistic Research Laboratory,Aberdeen, Md.
  • 1943 - 1955 : Consultant, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory,Los Alamos, N.Mex.
  • 1944: Published Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. Princeton: Princeton University Press
  • 1952 - 1954 : Member, General Advisory Committee,United States Atomic Energy Commission
  • 1955 - 1957 : Commissioner, United States Atomic Energy Commission
  • 1957, Feb. 8: Died, Washington, D.C.

From the guide to the John Von Neumann Papers, 1912-1996, (bulk 1935-1957), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)


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  • MADDIDA (Magnetic Drum Digital Differential Analyzer)--History
  • Nuclear energy
  • Quantum theory
  • Nuclear energy--Government policy
  • Ballistics
  • Quantum theory--History--20th century
  • Nuclear energy--Government policy--United States
  • Genealogy
  • Logic, Symbolic and mathematical
  • Physics--History
  • Mathematicians--20th century--Correspondence
  • Continuous geometries
  • Relativity (Physics)
  • Mathematics--Study and teaching--20th century
  • Computers
  • Wave mechanics
  • Game theory
  • Atomic theory
  • Operator theory
  • Complementarity (Physics)
  • Computers--History
  • Physics
  • Mathematics--Study and teaching
  • Quantum theory--History


  • Educators
  • Atomic energy commissioners
  • Mathematicians
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