Atomic Heritage Foundation

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Join Today as an Atomic History Patron Member

Giulio Fermi

Giulio Fermi (1936 – 1997) was a biologist and the son of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi and author Laura Fermi. Giulio was born in Rome, Italy, but left when he was just two years old. In 1938, the Fermis escaped Mussolini’s Italy for the United States, first traveling to Sweden for Enrico’s Nobel Prize ceremony. The family initially came to New York, then lived in the suburb of Leonia, New Jersey. When the Manhattan Project began, they moved to Chicago, and later to Los Alamos.

At Los Alamos, Giulio and his sister Nella went to a small, poorly-equipped school where each classroom housed two grades. They lived in a spartan apartment furnished with military supplies. The inconveniences of life at the site became badges of honor after the war, when the children realized the significance of the work that had gone on there.

Giulio obtained his PhD in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1961. His research focused on the molecular biology of hemoglobin. In 1971, he began working at the University of Cambridge, doing x-ray crystallography studies of hemoglobin. He had two children, Daniel and Rachel. Rachel published a book called Picturing the Bomb: Photographs from the Secret World of the Manhattan Project. Giulio passed away in 1997.

Giulio Fermi's Timeline

  • 1936 Feb 16th Born in Rome, Italy.
  • 1938 Dec 6th Left Italy for his father's Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm, eventually settling in New York, New York.
  • 1939 Moved to Leonia, New Jersey.

Related Profiles