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Jack King (NASA)

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Title: Jack King (NASA)  
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Jack King (NASA)

Jack King
King at his post for the launch of Apollo 12, November 14, 1969
Born c. 1931
Occupation Spokesman
Employer United Space Alliance
Known for Chief of Public Information and Public Affairs Officer, NASA
Home town Boston, Massachusetts
Spouse(s) Evelyn (m. 1965–2005)

John W. "Jack" King is a former 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".[1] 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.[2]


King grew up in Boston, the son of a local sportswriter, and attended Boston College.[3][4] 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.[5] 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.[3]

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][7] and another 15 years as executive vice president of Occidental Petroleum.[6][7] He was appointed director of communications at the Fuqua School of Business in 1993.[4] 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.[8]

King officially retired in October 2010, but as of July 2011 still serves as a volunteer public affairs officer for NASA.[9]

Personal life

King in 2008

King is a widower, his wife Evelyn having died in 2005. They were married 39 years.[7] He has three children (sons Chip and Billy, and daughter Beth) and, as of 2007, five grandchildren.[7] He is a Catholic.[10]

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.[7] Chip also was one of the pilots who took part in the flyover at astronaut Pete Conrad's 1999 funeral.[7]


  • Watkins, Billy (January 2006). "Jack King". Apollo Moon Missions: The Unsung Heroes.  


  1. ^ Grinter, Kay (November 24, 2006). "43 years ago: Thanksgiving Day brings new name for Launch Operations Center". Spaceport News 45 (23) (Kennedy Space Center). p. 7. 
  2. ^ "NASA sounds". Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "King to Leave NASA Soon". Roundup 14 (3) (Johnson Space Center). January 31, 1975. p. 1. 
  4. ^ a b Staff (April 7, 1993). "Fuqua Chooses King". The Chronicle Online (Duke University). 
  5. ^ Watkins, p. 119.
  6. ^ a b c "USA's King Receives Prestigious National Space Club Award". USA Update (30) (United Space Alliance). January–February 2001. p. 9. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Watkins, p. 127.
  8. ^ Halvorson, Todd (November 14, 2006). "Photographer, PR rep win Kolcum awards". The Flame Trench. 
  9. ^ DeCotis, Mark (July 7, 2011). "Jack King, voice of Apollo, still a space fan". Florida Today (Cape Canaveral). Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  10. ^ Watkins, p. 122.

External links

  • "Jack King, Public Affairs, NASA". Kennedy Biographies. NASA Kennedy Space Center. May 22, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  • Moore, Patrick (June 20, 2002). "Mr. Jack King Oral History". Kennedy Space Center History Project. Kennedy Space Center: NASA. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  • "'"Jack King, 'Voice of Apollo. Florida Today. June 27, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2013.  2012 Interview with King (4m, 38s).
  • King's Apollo 11 liftoff commentary (audio)
  • King's Apollo 11 liftoff commentary on YouTube (video)
  • Jack King at the Internet Movie Database
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