April 8, 2024 | Mark Paradies

Rickover Quotes

Admiral Rickover Quote


Every month, we will add an additional Admiral Rickover quote to this article until we run out of Rickover quotes.

Rickover Quote 11


Rickover’s advice about Nuclear Power School…

At this school, the smartest work as hard
as those who must struggle to pass.
Admiral Hyman Rickover 

Rickover Quote 10

In Greek mythology, Antaeus was a giant who was strong
as long as he had contact with the earth.
When he was lifted from the earth,
he lost strength.
So it is with engineers.
They must not become isolated from the real world.
Admiral Hyman Rickover

Rickover Quote 9

Rickover stating the facts forthrightly

Yet it is incumbent on those in high places to make wise decisions, and
it is reasonable and important that the public be correctly informed.
It is consequently incumbent on all of us to state the facts
as forthrightly as possible.
Admiral Hyman Rickover

Rickover Quote 8


Success teaches us nothing.
Only failure teaches.

Admiral Hyman Rickover

Rickover Quote 7

Rickover Quote 2

The tools of the academic designer are a piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser.
If a mistake is made, it can be erased and changed.
If a practical reactor designer errs, it cannot be erased.
Everyone sees it.

Admiral Hyman Rickover

Rickover Quote 6

Rickover Commissioning Tour
Retired Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover prepares to enter the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS HYMAN G. RICKOVER (SSN 709) for a tour at the conclusion of the ship’s commissioning ceremony.

I believe it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world
depended on him. Admittedly, one man by himself cannot do the job.
However, one man can make a difference…
We must live for the future of the human race,
and not for our own comfort or success.
Admiral Hyman Rickover

Rickover Quote 5

Rickover at the S1W Prototype…

Rickover at the S1W Prototype

“Any one detail, followed through to its source,
will usually reveal the general state of readiness of the whole organization.”
Admiral Hyman Rickover

Rickover Quote 4

Rickover’s picture in the Naval Academy Yearbook…


“Responsibility is a unique concept,
it can only reside and adhere in a single individual.
You may share it with others,

but your portion is not diminished.
You may delegate it,

but it is still with you.
You may disclaim it,

but you cannot divest yourself of it.
Even if you do not recognize it or admit is presence,

you cannot escape it.
If responsibility is rightfully yours,

no evasion, or ignorance,or passing the blame
can shift the burden to someone else.
Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible

when something goes wrong,
then you never had anyone really responsible.”
Admiral Hyman Rickover

Rickover Quote 3


Sit down before facts with an open mind.
Be prepared to give up every preconceived notion.
Follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you learn nothing.
Don’t push out figures when facts are going in the opposite direction.

Admiral Hyman Rickover

Rickover Quote 2


Good Ideas are not adopted automatically.
They must be driven into practice with courageous patience.
Admiral Hyman Rickover

Rickover Quote 1

Require rising standards of adequacy.
Be technically self-sufficient.
Face the facts.
Respect even small amounts of radiation.
Require adherence to the concept of total responsibility.
Develop the capacity to learn from experience.

Admiral Hyman Rickover

Weekly Wisdom
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