Feynman's FBI files

Michael sez,

Loved your piece about the Trinity graphic novel this morning, and thought you might find this interesting. MuckRock has published the FBI files of noted physicist, esteemed author and all-around geek Richard Feynman.

Feynman and the FBI had an extended encounter after the Bureau discovered he had been invited to speak at the USSR, which set off a flurry of investigations into his loyalty — even as he pestered the State Department for guidance on whether he should or shouldn't go, guidance they only gave belatedly.

Of particular interest to the FBI was his avid devotion to the art of lock picking, his high school membership in a socialism club (for social reasons, he swore), and the fact that he was a godless scientist who loved his bongo drums.

As always, the original FBI files are available free and unencumbered.

Which all puts me in mind of the outstanding Feynman graphic biography.


  1. Arline spoke wisely when she asked, “What do you care what other people think?”

    1. I don’t think this is an example of that. I mean, this is a guy who worked on the Manhattan Project. I’d say an intense level of scrutiny is reasonable, and apparently it didn’t interfere with him getting stuff done or having a grand old time. Hardly “violent opposition.”

  2. There’s an interesting denunciation starting on page 110 by someone (name redacted) who appears to have thought Feynman was a brilliantly manipulative Communist agent. This person knew Feynman and had been contacted first by the FBI. I wonder how seriously they took it.

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