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Joseph Gavin, who led Grumman during Apollo era, dies at 90

November 1, 2010 |  3:36 pm


Joseph Gavin, a former president of the New York aerospace company Grumman who headed its Apollo lunar module program in the 1960s, died Sunday at his home in Amherst, Mass. He was 90.

Gavin's death was announced Monday in a statement issued by Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp., the defense contractor formed in 1994 when Northrop bought Grumman, based in Bethpage, N.Y. The cause of death was not given.

Grumman manufactured the lunar module that landed men on the moon in 1969.

Gavin "championed the need to continue humankind's exploration of space until the end of his life," Northrop Grumman vice president Patricia McMahon said.

Gavin, a Navy fighter pilot and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was Grumman's president from 1972 to 1985.

-- Associated Press

Photo: Astronaut James Irwin with the Apollo 15 lunar module, at center, in 1971. Credit: Associated Press / NASA file