Lewis Strauss (1896 - 1974), an American financier and head of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) between 1953 and 1958, a period when the Cold War escalated sharply; he was an ardent supporter of the hydrogen bomb. Early on in his role as an AEC commissioner, Strauss argued for the development of a U.S. system for detection of foreign atomic tests. The monitoring system set up at his insistence was established just in time to detect the first Soviet atomic test in August of 1949. Strauss exerted great influence on both Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower's decisions on nuclear issues, as well as the atomic-related activities of all federal agencies. In 1950, President Truman announced that the United States would actively pursue development of a hydrogen bomb (H-bomb). Two years later, the first "superbomb" was successfully detonated in the Pacific, and in 1953, Strauss was asked to become AEC chairman. Strauss’ support for the H-bomb put him at odds with Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. Within days of being sworn into office in 1953, Strauss had all classified AEC material removed from Oppenheimer's office, and by the end of the year, Oppenheimer's security clearance was revoked. In 1959, after two months of exhausting hearings, the Senate rejected his nomination to be Secretary of Commerce. The ordeal was publicly humiliating for Strauss, especially after he was caught lying under oath.