Friday, June 12, 2015



Cape Canaveral, Florida (JFK+50) Jack King*, best known for his countdown to liftoff of Apollo 11, passed away yesterday according to a news report from the Associated Press.

Before becoming a public affairs official for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Mr. King was head of the AP office here at Cape Canaveral. 

His countdown on Apollo 11, however, was only one of hundreds that he did for other space launches including Gemini missions.  During the Mercury program, Mr. King headed the public information office at the Cape.

Bill Harwood of CBS News said that Jack King was "very calm" during the liftoff of Apollo 11.  Harwood was impressed with King's demeanor while under much pressure.

Mike Currie of NASA said, "He was an inspiration to me and many of my peers."

Jack's son, Chip, flew the longest F-14 Tomcat mission in history in a 2001 attack on Afghanistan.  Jack's wife, Evelyn, died in 2005.

Jack King, who had been diagnosed with heart failure, died in Cocoa Beach, Florida at the age of 84.

*John W. "Jack" King (1931-2015) was born in Brighton & grew up in Boston, MA.  He attended Boston College.  JWK served as Chief of Public Information for NASA from 1960 to 1971, & Public Affairs Officer from 1971-1975.


"Jack King, NASA's 'Voice of Apollo' dies at 84," by James Dean, Florida Today, USA Today, June 11, 2015.

"Voice of Apollo moon shots, Jack King, dies Thursday,"  The Associated Press, The Knoxville-News Sentinel, June 12, 2015.

Jack King
During the Apollo 12 mission
November 14, 1969
NASA Photo