A Picture of Leadership: Portrait Helps Commemorate Los Alamos Anniversary

Heather McClenahan and Mike Wheeler of the Los Alamos Historical Society unveil the portrait with Charlie McMillan, director of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Courtesy/LANL

From left: Mike Wheeler, Nancy Bartlit, and Heather McClenahan of the Historical Society; Los Alamos County Council Chair Geoff Rodgers; Lt. Col. Antoinette Gant, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Albuquerque District; LANL Director Charlie McMillan; LANL historian Alan Carr. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Family of Gen. Leslie Groves donates official portrait to Historical Society

He was known as a gruff taskmaster – even called “arrogant” by some.

But Gen. Leslie Groves teamed with some of the world’s foremost scientists to run the Manhattan Project, which produced world-changing nuclear technology and brought an end to the last war of global scale.

Portrait of Gen. Leslie Groves by Albert Murray. Courtesy/LANL

Friday, as part of commemorations of the 70th anniversary of Los Alamos National Laboratory, the family of Gen. Groves donated his official military portrait to the Los Alamos Historical Society.

Groves was commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Manhattan Engineer District.

Charlie McMillan is the 10th director of the Laboratory, the latest in the line of successors to Groves’ scientific counterpart J. Robert Oppenheimer.

“In an astoundingly short period of time, Gen. Groves created the places where the world’s best minds would solve our most pressing national security problems,” McMillan said. “And that work continues today.”

Also present at Friday’s unveiling was Lt. Col. Antoinette Gant, commander of the Albuquerque District of the Army Corps of Engineers.

“The Corps and Los Alamos were fortunate to have Gen. Groves,” Gant said, “is drive, his expertise, and his experience. The Manhattan Project did not ‘just happen,’ as the author Robert Norris wrote. ‘It happened in a certain way. The Groves way.’”

Today also marks the 70th anniversary of the first major scientific conference at Los Alamos, which began April 5, 1943.

For more information on the Laboratory’s history, click here.

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