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John William "Jack" King[1] (February 12, 1931 – June 11, 2015) was a Chief of Public Information and Public Affairs Officer for NASA. He is best known for his work as Kennedy Space Center Chief of Public Information during projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. As part of this role, he provided public announcements and commentary for several of the mission launches. He is best known for his announcement of the Apollo 11 launch, which earned him the nickname "Voice of Apollo".[2] The iconic commentary from that launch has been reused in songs and advertisements, including the song "Tout Va Bien" by the Japanese group Pizzicato Five and was included in a 2011 collection of NASA sounds from historic spaceflights that can be used as ringtones.[3]

CareerEdit

King grew up in Boston, the son of a local sportswriter, and attended Boston College.[4][5] Prior to joining NASA, King worked for the Associated Press. He opened the AP's Cape Canaveral bureau in 1958, when he was 27 years old.Template:Sfn King joined NASA in 1960, and served as the Kennedy Space Center's Chief of Public Information from 1960 to 1971, and as NASA's Public Affairs Officer from 1971 to 1975.[4]

After NASA, he spent two years as Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration (later part of the United States Department of Energy),[6]Template:Sfn and another 15 years as executive vice president of Occidental Petroleum.[6]Template:Sfn He was appointed director of communications at the Fuqua School of Business in 1993.[5] In 1997, King returned to Cape Canaveral and the U.S. manned space program, joining the United Space Alliance,[6] where he served as spokesman.[7]

King officially retired in October 2010, but continued to serve as a volunteer public affairs officer for NASA.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Jack King (NASA launch commentator)

King in 2008

King was a widower, his wife Evelyn having died in 2005. They were married 39 years.Template:Sfn He had three children (sons Chip and Billy, and daughter Beth) and five grandchildren.Template:Sfn[9] He was a Catholic.Template:Sfn

King's oldest son, Chip King, flew the longest F-14 Tomcat combat mission in history, the 1,800-mile attack on Afghanistan in October 2001, following the September 11 attacks.Template:Sfn Chip also was one of the pilots who took part in the flyover at astronaut Pete Conrad's 1999 funeral.Template:Sfn

King died on June 11, 2015, at the age of 84 of congestive heart failure.[9]

ReferencesEdit

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BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit

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