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John L. McLucas

John L. McLucas

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John Luther McLucas was United States Secretary of the Air Force
United States Secretary of the Air Force
The Secretary of the Air Force is the Head of the Department of the Air Force, a component organization within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Secretary of the Air Force is appointed from civilian life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate...

 from 1973 to 1975, becoming Secretary of the Air Force on July 19, 1973. He had been Acting Secretary of the Air Force since May 15, 1973, and Under Secretary of the Air Force
United States Under Secretary of the Air Force
The Under Secretary of the Air Force is the second-highest ranking civilian official in the Department of the Air Force of the United States of America, serving directly under the Secretary of the Air Force...

 since March 1969. Prior to his appointment as Under Secretary, he was president and chief executive officer of MITRE Corporation, of Bedford, Massachusetts
Bedford, Massachusetts
Bedford is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is within the Greater Boston area, north-west of the city of Boston. The population of Bedford was 13,320 at the 2010 census.- History :...

, and McLean, Virginia
McLean, Virginia
McLean is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. The community had a total population of 48,115 as of the 2010 census....


McLucas was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Fayetteville is a city located in Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States. It is the county seat of Cumberland County, and is best known as the home of Fort Bragg, a U.S. Army post located northwest of the city....

. He attended public schools in McColl
McColl, South Carolina
McColl is a town in Marlboro County, South Carolina, United States, located within 1.5 miles of the border with North Carolina. The population was 2,498 at the 2000 census.-Geography:McColl is located at ....

 and Latta, South Carolina
Latta, South Carolina
Latta is a town in Dillon County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 1,410 at the 2000 census. This small town also contains one of the many libraries that were started with funds given by Andrew Carnegie, which is located in the center of town....

, graduating from Latta High School in 1937. He received a bachelor of science degree from Davidson College
Davidson College
Davidson College is a private liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina. The college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked in the top ten liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine, although it has recently dropped to 11th in U.S. News...

 in 1941, a master of science degree in physics from Tulane University
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

 in 1943, and his doctorate in physics from Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University, commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU, is a public research university with campuses and facilities throughout the state of Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1855, the university has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service...

 in 1950.

During World War II, he served as an officer in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 from 1943 to 1946. After one year at the Air Force Cambridge Research Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he enrolled at Pennsylvania State University.

From 1950 to 1957, he was vice president and technical director of Haller, Raymond and Brown Inc., an electronics firm at State College, Pennsylvania
State College, Pennsylvania
State College is the largest borough in Centre County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is the principal city of the State College, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Centre County. As of the 2010 census, the borough population was 42,034, and roughly double...

. In 1958 he was made president of HRB-Singer Inc. He joined the Department of Defense in May 1962 and served as Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering (Tactical Warfare Programs).

Two years later, he was appointed as assistant secretary general for scientific affairs at NATO Headquarters in Paris, France. In 1966 he became president of MITRE Corp., where he remained until his appointment as undersecretary of the Air Force on March 17, 1969.

From 1969 through 1973, McLucas also served as director of the National Reconnaissance Office
National Reconnaissance Office
The National Reconnaissance Office , located in Chantilly, Virginia, is one of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. It designs, builds, and operates the spy satellites of the United States government.-Mission:...

, working directly for the secretary of defense with support from the Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...


In November 1975, President Gerald Ford swore in Dr. McLucas as the eighth administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...


McLucas was the author of numerous scientific articles and holds ten U.S. patents. He was the founder or co-founder of several small businesses, and was active in civic affairs in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

He was elected a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers in 1962; and associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is the professional society for the field of aerospace engineering. The AIAA was founded in 1963 from the merger of two earlier societies: the American Rocket Society , founded in 1930 as the American Interplanetary Society , and the Institute...

 in 1971; and a member of the National Academy of Engineering
National Academy of Engineering
The National Academy of Engineering is a government-created non-profit institution in the United States, that was founded in 1964 under the same congressional act that led to the founding of the National Academy of Sciences...

 in 1969. He received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1964, and first bronze palm in 1973; and the Air Force Exceptional Service Award in May 1973.

He was a member of the Chief Executives Forum; American Physical Society
American Physical Society
The American Physical Society is the world's second largest organization of physicists, behind the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. The Society publishes more than a dozen scientific journals, including the world renowned Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than 20...

; Operations Research Society of America; and of several honorary societies, including Sigma Pi Sigma
Sigma Pi Sigma
Sigma Pi Sigma is the National Physics Honor Society. It strives to promote physics at all stages, to promote fraternity between those who excel at physics, and to promote service among its members. It is closely associated with the Society of Physics Students .- External links :*...

 and Sigma Xi
Sigma Xi
Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society is a non-profit honor society which was founded in 1886 at Cornell University by a junior faculty member and a handful of graduate students. Members elect others on the basis of their research achievements or potential...

. He was also a member member of the Defense Science Board
Defense Science Board
The Defense Science Board is a committee of civilian experts appointed to advise the U.S. Department of Defense on scientific and technical matters...

, Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, and the Young Presidents Organization.

McLucas died on December 1, 2002.