Kermith "K." Speierman

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Obituary from The Washington Post

From the Washington Post:

Kermith H. Speierman, 72, who retired in 1994 as technology research director of the National Security Agency, died of cancer March 11 (2001) at his Silver Spring home.

Mr. Speierman was a native of Glendale, Calif., who served in the Army in Japan after World War II. He was recalled into Army service during the Korean War.

He was a graduate of the University of Southern California and did graduate work in mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley.

Colleagues at NSA said Mr. Speierman was one of the first senior computer scientists to be recruited by NSA from industry in the mid-1960s as the agency's dependence on commercial computing systems began to expand. Under his direction, they said, NSA in 1978 was the first major federal agency to use the UNIX operating system, a Bell Laboratories and University of California at Berkeley development that came to dominate scientific and technical computing.

Mr. Speierman was also involved in early efforts with industry and other federal agencies to develop multi-agency collaborative programs in high-performance computing and communications.

Before he joined NSA in 1965, Mr. Speierman was a senior scientist at the Burroughs Research Center, where he was also director of information systems research. Earlier, he worked for Babcock & Wilcox Co.'s nuclear design operation in Lynchburg, Va., and for a firm that was absorbed by Burroughs.

His honors included the NSA Exceptional Civilian Service Award and the Defense Department's Distinguished Civilian Service Award. He was a member of the White Oak Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Silver Spring and a volunteer with the Boy Scouts and Howard County Striders.

Survivors include his wife, Doris Anne Minix Speierman of Silver Spring; two children, Brad Speierman of Columbia and Gail Leasure of Felton, Pa.; a sister; two brothers; and eight grandchildren.

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