Lillian Oppenheimer

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Lillian Rose Vorhaus Kruskal Oppenheimer (October 24, 1898 in New York City – July 24, 1992) was an American origami pioneer.[1] She popularized origami in the West starting in the 1950s, and is credited[2] with popularizing the Japanese term origami in English-speaking circles, which gradually supplanted the literal translation paper folding that had been used earlier. In the 1960s she co-wrote several popular books on origami with Shari Lewis.

Lillian Oppenheimer ran an informal group of dedicated folders in the New York City area, which eventually became The Friends of the Origami Center of America (FOCA), which in turn became OrigamiUSA in 1994.[3]

Oppenheimer is the mother of William, Molly, Rosaly, Martin, and Joseph. The three sons were all prominent mathematicians.


  1. ^ David Lister on Lillian Oppenheimer and Her Friends
  2. ^ Two Miscellaneous Collections of Jottings on the History of Origami: Part One
  3. ^ History of OrigamiUSA

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