Charles Herzfeld

Charles Herzfeld was born in Vienna to an assimilated (even catholic) Jewish Family, the son of August Herzfeld and nephew of physicist Karl Herzfeld.

He holds an engineering degree from the Catholic University of America (B.S., 1945) and one in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1951). He worked as a physicist at the Ballistic Research Laboratory, Aberdeen, Maryland from 1951 to 1953, and at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington from 1953 to 1955.

After several years with the National Bureau of Standards, he joined ARPA (Advanced Research Project Agency) in '61 and later on became Assistant Director. He served as the Director of ARPA from 1965 to 1967, and was instrumental in setting up the ARPAnet:

"In February, 1966, Taylor approached the then head of ARPA, Charles Herzfeld, and made a proposal for the creation of an interactive computer network, linking different computer systems together for the sharing of information. After a twenty-minute discussion with Taylor describing this proposal, Herzfeld approved of Taylor's concept and signed a provision of $1 million for the initial project funds ..."

A google search in domain .at renders 3 links. (Addendum 2017: 14 links and 2 pics)

I could not find a full biography on the web. Here's an oral history interview with Mr. Herzfeld from the Charles Babbage Institute. (Addendum 2017: not anymore)


the best i could find. not austrian though. maybe its time to get a bit of patriotism ...

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His being Austrian born can be concluded from two texts: Michael A. Hiltzik's "Dealers of Lightning" and the linked bio of his uncle. One need not be patriotic for that.

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yes he is.still i am more interested in the person than in patriotism. he sent me following note to his biografie, i guess i can quote as it is official information: "i was Director from '65 to '67. Two years was pretty typical in those days. I was at ARPA (as it was then called) from 1961 to 1967, first two years I ran the Defender program, then was Deputy Direct then Director. In total it was a long time, but, of course great. If you have Googled me you know I was born in Vienna ..."

illiac iv is also popping up again

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Charles Herzfeld

Charles Herzfeld is actually Catholic, not Jewish. From Vienna, Austria, from a monarchist family that fled during WWII. Came to US to live with his uncle Carl Herzfeld, a respected scientist in Washington Dc at Catholic U.

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jewish ancestry, catholic belief

Actually the Herzfeld family was of Jewish ancestry while already the generation before our Charles Herzfeld had been baptized. We could go into philosophical at this point but we'd rather abstain. It should have been mentioned more cleary though.

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last updated: 05.04.22, 07:16

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