[Jack Swigert] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: John Leonard "Jack" Swigert, Jr.
NASA Astronaut

Denver, Colorado, August 30, 1931. Son of Mrs. J. Leonard Swigert, who resides in Denver, and the late Dr. J. Leonard Swigert.

Blond hair, blue eyes; height: 5 feet 11-1/2 inches; weight: 180 pounds.

Attended Regis and East High Schools in Denver; received bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Colorado, 1953; master of science in Aerospace Science from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, 1965; master of business Administration from the University of Hartford, 1967; and was presented Honorary Doctorate of Science by American International College, 1970, Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Western State College, 1970; Honorary Doctorate of Science by Western Michigan University, 1970.



An avid sports enthusiast who enjoys golf, handball, bowling, skiing, swimming and basketball. His hobbies include photography.

Fellow of the American Astronautical Society; Associate Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and member of the Quiet Birdmen, Phi Gamma Delta, Pi Tau Sigma and Sigma Tau.

Presented the Presidential Medal for Freedom, 1970, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal; corecipient of the American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award for 1970, the AIAA Octave Chanute Award for 1966 (for his participation in demonstrating the Rogallo Wing as a feasible land landing system for returning space vehicles and astronauts); and recipient of University of Colorado Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1970; City of New York Gold Medal, 1970; City of Houston Medal for Valor, 1970; City of Chicago Gold Medal, 1970; Antonian Gold Medal, 1972; and the Sons of the American Revolution Gold Citizenship Medal, 1979.

Swigert served with the Air Force from 1953 to 1956, including a tour of duty as a fighter pilot in Japan and Korea. He also served as a jet fighter pilot with the Massachusetts Air National Guard (1957 to 1960) and the Connecticut Air National Guard (1960 to 1965). He has logged over 8,000 hours of flight time, of which more than 6,430 hours are in jet aircraft.

Swigert was one of 19 Astronauts selected by NASA in 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crews for the Apollo 7 and Apollo 11 missions. He was next assigned to the Apollo 13 backup crew and subsequently replaced prime crewman, Thomas K. Mattingly as Command Module Pilot 24 hours prior to flight, following Mattingly's exposure to German measles. Apollo 13, April 11-17, 1970, was programmed for a ten day flight as America's third lunar landing. However, at 55 hours into the flight and 200,000 miles from Earth, an explosion in the Service Module oxygen system required modification of the flight plan and the emergency conversion of the Lunar Module into a lifeboat for survival and safety in space and the return to earth. In completing his first space flight, Swigert logged a total of 142 hours and 54 minutes.

From April 1973, to September 1977, Swigert served as Executive Director of the Committee on Science and Technology in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. In that capacity, he was responsible for assuring the accomplishment of the legislative and oversight functions of the staff of the Committee, the jurisdiction of which included all Federal research and development in the areas of energy, environment, space, science, and civil aviation. His responsibilities included personnel acquisition, planning, organizing, budgeting, directing and controlling the staff of the Committee (some 80 people).

In 1978, Swigert ran for the United States Senate from Colorado and was unsuccessful in his first attempt at elective office.

In 1979, Swigert joined the BDM Corporation, a broad-based professional services company as Vice President for Technology Development and directed the Company's Denver operations. He was responsible for the formulation of programs with emphasis on energy, space, environment and transportation.

In 1981, Swigert left BDM to join International Gold and Minerals Limited as Vice President for Financial and Corporate Affairs

In February 1982, Swigert left International Gold and Minerals Limited to initiate his compaign for the U.S. Congress.

On November 2, 1982, Swigert won the new seat for Colorado's Sixth Congressional District receiving 64% of the popular vote.

Swigert died of complications from cancer in Washington December 27, 1982, a week before he would have taken the congressional seat he won in the November 2 election.


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