Herman Kahn (February 15, 1922 – July 7, 1983) was an American physicist and a founding member of the Hudson Institute, regarded as one of the preeminent futurists of the latter part of the twentieth century. He originally came to prominence as a military strategist and systems theorist while employed at the RAND Corporation. He became known for analyzing the likely consequences of nuclear war and recommending ways to improve survivability during the Cold War. Kahn posited the idea of a "winnable" nuclear exchange in his 1960 book On Thermonuclear War for which he is cited as one of the historical inspirations for the title character of Stanley Kubrick's classic black comedy film satire Dr. Strangelove. In his commentary for Fail Safe, director Sidney Lumet remarked that the Professor Groeteschele character is also based on Herman Kahn. Kahn's theories contributed to the development of the nuclear strategy of the United States.
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