The unclassified library is named in honor of John T. Hughes (1928-1992). Internationally recognized and honored, Mr. Hughes served his 33-year intelligence career as an exceptional defense intelligence photo interpreter, collection systems manager, and senior executive. Having joined the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1962, he rose through the ranks to serve as Deputy Director for Intelligence and External Affairs and Senior Intelligence Advisor. A participant in the U-2 collection program from the earliest days of operation, he drew on his expertise during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, guiding DIA ’s collection and analysis, and served as the principal intelligence advisor to the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Director, DIA . At the request of the President and the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Hughes presented a nationally televised briefing on February 6, 1963 , tracing the introduction, deployment, and withdrawal of Soviet strategic forces in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Over succeeding decades, his meticulously documented briefings on foreign military forces’ capabilities – in particular, those of the Soviet Union – would be recognized by national and international leaders with letters of tribute, awards, and decorations from presidents, members of Congress, and leaders of free nations.
In recognition, Secretary of Defense Schlesinger awarded Hughes a second DoD Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 1975, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld awarded him the Secretary of Defense Outstanding Public Service Award in January 1977. Hughes received the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service at a presentation ceremony by Secretary of Defense Weinberger in March 1981. In July 1983, President Reagan awarded him the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive. He was awarded a National Security Medal by President Reagan at the White House on the occasion of his December 1984 retirement.