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James C. Fletcher

James C. Fletcher
Official NASA Portrait
Born June 5, 1919
Millburn, New Jersey
Died December 22, 1991(1991-12-22) (aged 72)
Washington, DC
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
Fields Physics
Institutions NASA
University of Utah
Alma mater Columbia University
California Institute of Technology

James Chipman Fletcher (June 5, 1919 – December 22, 1991) was the president of the University of Utah from 1964 to 1971. He also served as the 4th and 7th Administrator of NASA, first from April 27, 1971 to May 1, 1977 under President Richard M. Nixon, and again from May 12, 1986 to April 8, 1989 under President Ronald Reagan. As such, he was responsible for the early planning of the Space Shuttle program, and later for its recovery and return to flight after the Space Shuttle Challenger accident.

President Nixon (right) with NASA Administrator James C. Fletcher in January 1972.


  • History 1
    • Etymology 1.1
  • Geography 2
    • Cities 2.1
    • Towns and villages 2.2
    • Mergers 2.3
  • Economy 3
  • Demographics 4
    • Population by age (2001) 4.1
  • Sports 5
    • Football (soccer) 5.1
    • Baseball 5.2
    • Volleyball 5.3
    • Rugby 5.4
  • Tourism 6
  • Transport 7
    • Road 7.1
      • Expressways and toll roads 7.1.1
      • National highways 7.1.2
    • Rail 7.2
    • People movers and tramways 7.3
    • Airports 7.4
    • Ports 7.5
  • Notes 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Born in Millburn, New Jersey, to Harvey Fletcher and Lorena Chipman.[1] His father, Harvey is known as the "Father of Stereophonic sound". Fletcher earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Columbia College of Columbia University and a Ph.D in physics (1948) from the California Institute of Technology.[2] After holding research and teaching positions at Harvard and Princeton Universities, he joined Hughes Aircraft in 1948 and later worked at the Guided Missile Division of the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation. In 1958, Fletcher co-founded the Space Electronics Corporation in Glendale, California, which, after a merger, became the Space General Corporation. He was later named systems vice president of the Aerojet General Corporation in Sacramento, California. In 1964, he became president of the University of Utah, a position he held until he was named NASA Administrator by President Richard M. Nixon in 1971.

During his first administration at NASA, Fletcher was responsible for beginning the Space Shuttle effort, as well as the Viking program that sent landers to Mars. He oversaw the Skylab missions and approved the Voyager space probes and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

When he left NASA in 1977, Fletcher became an independent consultant in McLean, Virginia, and served on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh. For nine years, he was active as an advisor to key national leaders involved in planning space policy. Among other activities, he served on an advisory board involved in developing the Strategic Defense Initiative.

In 1986, President George H. W. Bush.

Fletcher died in December 1991 of lung cancer at his home in suburban Washington, DC. He was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery. He was a Mormon.


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Aichi-ken" , p. 11Japan Encyclopedia, p. 11, at Google Books; "Chūbu" , p. 126Japan Encyclopedia, p. 126, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Nagoya" p. 685, p. 685, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" , p. 780Japan Encyclopedia, p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Domestic production and sales bases." Sumitomo Riko. Retrieved on January 28, 2015.


  • Portions of this article are based on public domain text from NASA.
Government offices
Preceded by
Thomas O. Paine
NASA Administrator
1971 - 1977
Succeeded by
Robert A. Frosch
Preceded by
William Robert Graham (acting)
NASA Administrator
1986 - 1989
Succeeded by
Richard H. Truly
Academic offices
Preceded by
A. Ray Olpin
President of the University of Utah
1964 – 1971
Succeeded by
Alfred C. Emery
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