von Braun, Wernher Magnus Maxmillian
- Tom D. Crouch
von Braun, Wernher Magnus Maxmillian (23 March 1912–16 June 1977), engineer and spaceflight pioneer, was born in Wirsitz, Germany (now the Polish province of Poznan), the son of Baron Magnus von Braun, a businessman, banker, and politician, and Emmy von Quistorp. Von Braun grew up in an aristocratic family with roots deep in the East Prussian soil. His father, a confirmed monarchist with a deep-seated contempt for “brutish democracy,” was forced out of government service early in the Weimar period, pursued a successful career in business and finance, and then, in 1932, returned to office as minister of agriculture in the ill-fated cabinet of Chancellor Franz von Papen....