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Townsend, John W., Jr. (John William), 1924-2011


Biographical Note

John W. Townsend, Jr. was born in 1924. He received a B.A. from Williams College in 1947, an M.A. in 1949, and a Sc.D. in 1961. After completing his M.A., Townsent went to work for the Naval Research Labororatory from 1949-1958, spending the last three years as a branch head. In 1958, he moved to NASA for a decade, including three years (1965-1968) as the deputy director fo the Goddard Space Center in Maryland. He left NASA in 1968 to serve as a deputy administrator in the Environmental Sciences Services Administration (1968-1970), and an associate adminstrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1970-1977). In 1977, he took a break from government work, serving as the president of Fairchild Space and Electronics Company (1977-1982) and, when the company changed names, president of Fairchild Space Company from 1983-1987. In 1987, he returned to NASA as director of the Goddard Space Center until his retirement in 1990. Townsend died in November 2011.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

John W. Townsend, Jr., Papers

Identifier: Ms-1990-068
Scope and Contents This collection contains six boxes of John W. Townsend, Jr.'s personal and professional papers from 1949 until his retirement from corporate and government aerospace work in 1990. In addition to profressional correspondence, memos, and subject files, there are extensive travel files from 1949-1968 and 1985-1990, congressional testimony on NASA projects from 1982-1986, and files on the history of the Upper Air Rocket Research Program at the Naval Research Laboratory from about 1956-1958....
Dates: 1949 - 1990