Captain Lovell, (March 25,1928) chosen in September 1962 for the space program following extensive experience as a Naval Aviator and Test Pilot. Lovell executed various commands in the Gemini mission program, including; backup pilot for the Gemini 4 flight, and backup commander for Gemini 9 flight. He was the pilot on the history making Gemini 7 flight, which saw the first rendezvous of two manned spacecraft in 1965, and the commander of the Gemini 12 mission in 1966 that perfected astronaut extra vehicular operations.
At the close of the Gemini program, Lovell became command Module Pilot and Navigator for the epic 6 day journey on Apollo 8 -- man's maiden voyage to the moon where he and fellow crewman were the first humans to leave the earth's gravitational influence and backup commander to Neil Armstrong for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. Lovell?s fourth and final flight was on the perilous Apollo 13 mission in 1970. As spacecraft commander, Lovell and his crew successfully modified their lunar module into an effective lifeboat when their cryogenic oxygen system failed. Their emergency activation and operation of the lunar module systems conserved both electrical power and water in sufficient supply to assure their survival in space and their safe return to earth.
In 1973, Lovell left the space program to join the Bay-Houston Towing Company. He became President and CEO of Bay-Houston Towing in 1975 and then furthered his corporate experience by joining Fisk Telephone Systems, again as company president. The Centel Corporation acquired the company in 1980 and Lovell became executive vice president. Today, Lovell is president of Lovell Communications; a business devoted to disseminating information about the United States Space Program. He serves on the Board of the following companies: Federal Signal Corporation, GCCUS, and Surgi-Vision. He also serves on the following philanthropic boards: Chairman - Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, United States Naval Academy Foundation; Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International Board and the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum.
Captain Lovell's education prepared him for the change from explorer to businessman. He attended the University of Wisconsin, graduated from the United States Naval Academy, the University of Southern California - Aviation Safety School, and the Harvard Business School's Advance Management Program. He has received honorary doctorates from Blackburn University, Mary Hardin - Baylor College, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Rockhurst College, Susquehanna University, Washington & Jefferson College, Western Michigan University, William Patterson College and Lake Forest College.
He has garnered an impressive share of honors and awards, a few listed below: the Harmon, Collier & Goddard Aerospace Trophies, the Presidential Medal for Freedom, the French Legion of Honor, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Naval Astronauts Wings, two Navy Distinguished Flying Crosses, FAI De Laval & Gold Space Medals; National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal; and most recently the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
Lovell is a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a member of the prestigious Golden Eagles.
In 1994, Lovell and Jeff Kluger wrote Lost Moon, the story of the courageous mission of Apollo 13. In 1995, the film version of the bestseller, 'Apollo 13' was released to rave reviews.
Captain Lovell has just ventured into another business. In 1999 he with his family opened up Lovells of Lake Forest, a classic full service restaurant in the heart of West Lake Forest, where you will experience fine dining in an environment of casual elegance.
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