July 8, 1986
Admiral Hyman G. Rickover was the father of the nuclear-powered Navy. His commitment to excellence and uncompromising devotion to duty were an integral part of American life for a generation. The nuclear-powered submarines, cruisers, and aircraft carriers deployed throughout the world today in defense of liberty are a major part of Admiral Rickover's legacy.
He was also a revered teacher who instilled in his pupils a desire to strive for the highest achievements. Countless thousands of sailors benefited from the skill and expertise of this talented public servant. Though he worked on tools of defense, he was a man of peace.
It is particularly poignant that his death should occur immediately following a weekend in which we celebrated the achievements of those Americans who came to our shores as immigrants. Few among them have had as distinguished a career as Admiral Rickover or contributed more to the maintenance of our freedom. We have lost a great American, and Nancy and I extend our deep sympathy to the Rickover family.