|Who is it?||Actor, Writer, Miscellaneous Crew|
|Birth Day||March 25, 1928|
|Birth Place||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
|Age||92 YEARS OLD|
|Other occupation||Test pilot|
|Time in space||29d 19h 03m|
|Selection||1962 NASA Group|
|Missions||Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13|
Lovell's awards and decorations include:
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1928, Lovell was the only child of his mother Blanche, who was of Czech descent, and his father, a coal furnace salesman, who died in a car accident in 1933. For about two years, he and his mother resided with a relative in Terre Haute, Indiana. His mother then moved them to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he graduated from Juneau High School. He became an Eagle Scout.
He married Marilyn Lillie Gerlach (b. July 11, 1930), the daughter of Lillie (née Nordrum 1891–1974) and Carl Gerlach. The two were high-school sweethearts at Juneau High School in Milwaukee. Marilyn was hesitant initially about dating Jim because he was two years older, but the two became inseparable after their first date. She transferred from Wisconsin State Teachers College to George Washington University in Washington D.C. so she could be near him while he was training in Annapolis. They married after his graduation from the Naval Academy on June 6, 1952.
As a child, Lovell was interested in rocketry, and built flying Models. From the fall of 1946 to the spring of 1948, he attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison for two years under the "Flying Midshipman" program. There he continued to play football and joined the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. He later became an Eagle Scout.
While Lovell was attending pre-flight training in the summer of 1948, the Navy was beginning to make cutbacks in the program and cadets were under a great deal of pressure to transfer out. There were even worries that some or most of the pilots who graduated would not have pilot billets to fill. (This threat persisted until the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950.) He applied and was accepted to attend the United States Naval Academy in the fall of 1948. During his first year he wrote a treatise on the liquid fueled rocket engine. He attended Annapolis for the full four years, graduating as an Ensign in the spring of 1952 with a B.S. degree. He then went to FLIGHT training at NAS Pensacola from October 1952 to February 1954.
They have four children: Barbara (born in 1953), James (1955), Susan (1958), and Jeffrey (1966). Due to her husband often being absent from their home because of training and missions, Marilyn was in charge of taking care of their household and the four children. The 1995 film Apollo 13 portrayed the family's home life during the Apollo 13 mission of 1970. Actress Kathleen Quinlan was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Marilyn Lovell.
Lovell was designated a Naval Aviator on February 1, 1954. Upon completion of pilot training he was assigned to VC-3 at Moffett Field near San Francisco, California. From 1954 to 1956 he flew F2H-3 Banshee night fighters. This included a WestPac embarkation aboard the USS Shangri-La (CVA-38), when she emerged from refit as only the second USN carrier with the new angled deck. Upon his return ashore, he was reassigned to provide pilot transition training for the F3H Demon . In January 1958, he entered a six-month test pilot training course at what was then the Naval Air Test Center (now the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, (also known as Pax River). Two of his classmates were Charles (Peter) Conrad and Wally Schirra. Lovell graduated first in his class.
At Pax River he was assigned to Electronics Test (later Weapons Test), using the call sign "Shaky", a nickname given him by Conrad. He became F4H program manager, during which time John Young served under him. In 1961 he was ordered to VF-101 "Detachment Alpha" as an F4H instructor for the first East Coast squadron personnel.
In 1962 NASA needed a second group of astronauts for the Gemini and Apollo programs. Lovell applied a second time and was accepted into NASA Astronaut Group 2, (The New Nine) as was Conrad.
Lovell was selected as backup pilot for Gemini 4. This put him in position for his first space FLIGHT three missions later, as pilot of Gemini 7 with Command Pilot Frank Borman in December 1965. The flight's objective was to evaluate the effects on the crew and spacecraft from fourteen days in orbit. This fourteen-day FLIGHT set an endurance record making 206 orbits. It was also the target vehicle for the first space rendezvous with Gemini 6A.
Lovell was later scheduled to be the backup command pilot of Gemini 10. But after the deaths of the Gemini 9 prime crew Elliot See and Charles Bassett, he replaced Thomas P. Stafford as backup commander of Gemini 9A. This again positioned Lovell for his second FLIGHT and first command, of Gemini 12 in November 1966 with Pilot Buzz Aldrin. This FLIGHT had three extravehicular activities, made 59 orbits, and achieved the fifth space rendezvous and fourth space docking with an Agena target vehicle. This mission was successful because it proved that humans can work effectively outside the spacecraft, paved the way for the Apollo missions, and helped reach the goal of getting man on the moon by the end of the decade.
Construction delays of the first manned LM prevented it from being ready in time to fly on Apollo 8, planned as a low Earth orbit test. It was decided to swap the Apollo 8 and Apollo 9 prime and backup crews in the FLIGHT schedule so that the crew trained for the low-orbit test could fly it as Apollo 9, when the LM would be ready. A lunar orbital FLIGHT, now Apollo 8 replaced the original Apollo 9 medium Earth orbit test. Borman, Lovell and Anders were launched on December 21, 1968, becoming the first men to travel to the Moon.
Lovell was backup commander of Apollo 11 and was scheduled to command Apollo 14. Instead, he and his crew swapped missions with the crew of Apollo 13, as it was felt the commander of the other crew, Alan Shepard, needed more time to train after having been grounded for a long period by an ear Problem. Lovell lifted off aboard Apollo 13 on April 11, 1970, with CM Pilot Jack Swigert and LM Pilot Fred Haise. He and Haise were to land on the Moon.
Lovell is one of only three men to travel to the Moon twice, but unlike John Young and Eugene Cernan, he never walked on it. He accrued over 715 hours, and had seen a total of 269 sunrises from space, on his Gemini and Apollo flights. This was a personal record that stood until the Skylab 3 mission in July through September 1973. Apollo 13's FLIGHT trajectory gives Lovell, Haise, and Swigert the record for the farthest distance that humans have ever traveled from Earth.
About a month after the return to Earth of Apollo 13, Lovell and his crewmates, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, appeared on The Tonight Show with host Johnny Carson. The introduction of this segment of the show is featured on Lost Moon: The Triumph of Apollo 13 on the single disc DVD version of the movie. In 1976, Lovell made a cameo appearance in the Nicolas Roeg movie The Man Who Fell to Earth.
He has served on the Board of Directors for several organizations, including Federal Signal Corporation in Chicago (1984–2003), Astronautics Corporation of America in his hometown of Milwaukee (1990–1999), and Centel Corporation in Chicago (1987–1991).
Lovell retired from the Navy and the space program in 1973 and went to work at the Bay-Houston Towing Company in Houston, Texas, becoming CEO in 1975. He became President of Fisk Telephone Systems in 1977, and later worked for Centel, retiring as an executive vice President on January 1, 1991. Lovell, a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, later served as the President of the National Eagle Scout Association in the mid-1990s. He was also recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with their prestigious Silver Buffalo Award.
In 1995, actor Tom Hanks portrayed Lovell in the hit movie Apollo 13, based on Lovell's book Lost Moon. Lovell himself makes a cameo in this movie, playing the captain of the USS Iwo Jima at the end of the film. In 1998, actor Tim Daly portrayed Lovell in portions of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. The film depicts Lovell during his missions aboard Gemini 12, Apollo 8, and Apollo 13, though he is not seen on screen during the latter mission.
On November 13, 2008, Lovell and fellow Apollo 8 crew members Frank Borman and Bill Anders appeared on the NASA TV channel to discuss the Apollo 8 mission. The three former astronauts later appeared together for a panel discussion centering on Apollo 8 at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library on April 23, 2009, a discussion that was videotaped by C-SPAN.
The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center was completed in October 2010, merging the Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes and the North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
On July 20, 2014, the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11's landing on the Moon, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Lee Cowan and his crew did a piece called "Astronaut wives: The other space pioneers" featuring James Lovell and his wife Marilyn. They celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in June. In 2018, actor Pablo Schreiber will portray Lovell in the film First Man.
In 1999 the Lovell family opened Lovell's of Lake Forest, a fine dining restaurant in Lake Forest, Illinois. The restaurant displayed many artifacts from Lovell's time with NASA, as well as from the filming of Apollo 13. His son James "Jay" Lovell III was the executive chef. He sold the restaurant to Jay and his wife Darice in 2006. The Lovell family announced that the restaurant building and surrounding property was on the market in February 2014. The restaurant closed on April 12, 2015, and the property (but not the memorabilia) was auctioned on April 22, 2015.