• College/Year: ENG '45
  • Links to Oral History Sessions: Goldfarb, Samuel (Part 1) (June 19, 2012)
    Goldfarb, Samuel (Part 2) (October 8, 2012)
  • Conflict(s): World War II
  • Military Branch & Unit: US Navy
  • Theater(s): Pacific
  • Navy Other: Pearl Harbor Naval Yard, Communications Office


Samuel Goldfarb was born on January 28, 1925, in Jersey City, NJ.  His father immigrated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the US as a teenager and worked his way up to establishing his own department store.  One of the women who worked there was Samuel's mother, a native of New York City.  He went to public schools in Jersey City, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1941. 

He then entered Rutgers University where he studied mechanical engineering.  There, he joined the Tau Delta Phi Fraternity.  He discusses the impact of World War II on the campus, including the acceleration of the curriculum, which allowed his class to graduate on July 4, 1944. 

As graduation approached, he took the US Navy's Eddy test, receiving a high score that qualified him for their electronics training program.  After boot camp at Great Lakes in Chicago, he entered electronics training at Hugh Manley High School.

After completing the program, he was sent to Washington, DC, where he worked on radiophoto facsimile, a new technology for transmitting images over radio.  He was then sent to serve in the communications office in Pearl Harbor Navy Yard in Hawaii.  His unit became involved in Operation: CROSSROADS, transmitting pictures of the July 1946 atomic tests conducted at the Bikini Atoll (codenamed ABLE and BAKER) back to the US mainland.  He was discharged soon after in August 1946.  

He then returned to Rutgers to use the GI Bill to pursue a degree in electrical engineering in graduate school.  He later earned a master's from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  He spent his early career in industry in New Jersey, then, spent many years at RCA where he worked on satellite and semiconductor technologies.  He left RCA to pursue his interest in nuclear fusion by taking a job at the Plasma Physics Labs at Princeton University, where he worked until he retired in 1989.

The Rutgers Oral History Archives received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. In the 2023-2024 cycle, this grant assisted the ROHA staff in making this oral history available to you for your use.