Wernher von Braun

1912-1977, born Wirsitz, Germany

Inspired by Hermann Oberth’s work, von Braun became a member of the Berlin rocket group while a student. In late 1932 he began working on liquid-fuel rockets for the German army. His team developed the V-2 ballistic missile for Hitler. After Nazi Germany’s defeat, von Braun came to the United States in 1945, where he became famous as a space popularizer and as a leader in rocket development for the US Army and NASA.

Wernher von Braun, born in Wirsitz, Germany, in 1912, led the development of the V-2 in Nazi Germany and came to the US in 1945.