Enrico Fermi, designer and builder of the very first reactor, died a dozen years after that event. He entered a Chicago hospital on October 9, 1954, and died at home on November 28. He pursued truth throughout his life, even, it seems from this newspaper report, just before death…

A few hours before he entered the hospital, he called the only press conference he ever held on nontechnical matters. He had strong words against a new book, “The Hydrogen Bomb,” by James Shepley and Clay Blair Jr. The book has implied that the government and its atomic-weapons laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M., had dragged their feet on the development of the hydrogen bomb, which Dr. Fermi vigorously denied.

Chicago Sun-Times. 1954. “Mourn Dr. Fermi’s death: Rites scheduled Monday.” Nov. 29.