Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun
(March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977) was a German-American rocket scientist, engineer and space architect, becoming one of the leading figures in the creation of rocket technology in Germany and the United States. He was a member of the Nazi party and a commissioned SS officer. Wernher von Braun was said to be the preeminent rocket engineer of the 20th century. In his 20s and early 30s, von Braun was the central figure in Germany's pre-war rocket development programme, responsible for the design and realization of the deadly V-2 combat rocket during World War II. After the war, he and some of his rocket team were taken to the United States as part of the then-secret Operation Paperclip. In 1955, ten years after entering the country, von Braun became a naturalized U.S. citizen.