We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Jim Lovell?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Jim Lovell, born James Arthur Lovell, Jr. in 1928, is one of the many US astronauts who helped begin the succession of Space flights in the 1960s, and who may best be known for his command of the Apollo 13 Mission and the very famous reporting of the mechanical problems aboard that flight with his words “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Note this line is usually misquoted, but you can hear Lovell’s recorded voice with the accurate statement. Focus on Apollo 13 often overshadows Lovell’s other contributions to NASA and the rich life he lived before and after his career as an astronaut.

Lovell was born in Indiana, but the family relocated to Milwaukee where Lovell seemed to be on the path to become an astronaut, a path as yet undefined by the US. He was named an Eagle Scout, and went to college first at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then at the US Naval Academy, graduating in 1952. In 1952 he also married his wife Marilyn, and the first of their four children was born in 1953.

Setting up housekeeping was to be a short lived proposition for Jim Lovell and his wife. Lovell immediately joined the US Navy upon graduation, and served for two years in the Korean War. He then began his career as a test pilot, and in 1962 was tapped to become an astronaut for NASA.

Jim Lovell holds the distinction, until Skylab, as clocking the longest amount of time in space, more than 700 hours. His first flight for NASA was piloting the Gemini 7, which spent two weeks in space, and he then piloted Gemini 12. In 1968, Lovell flew the first manned mission to the moon, Apollo 8, as replacement for Michael Collins who had to leave his post as pilot to have surgery.

Lovell was initially scheduled to fly on Apollo 14 as his next mission. The crew of Apollo 13 wasn’t quite ready, so Jim Lovell and his Apollo 14 team instead took over the Apollo 13 mission, while the original Apollo 13 crew trained for Apollo 14 instead. Apollo 13’s initial mission was a planned flight to the moon and moon landing, but mechanical problems in the early stages of the flight meant the moon landing had to be scrapped, and excessive concern existed that the flight would even make it home. Considerable work by Lovell and his crew and the ground support at Houston helped evolve a way for the spacecraft to return to earth, albeit under very risky circumstances. The six day trip ended with the astronauts unable to fulfill their mission, including a moon walk, which Lovell had anticipated with great pleasure, but at least with the crew in possession of their lives.

In 1973, Jim Lovell retired from the US Navy, and pursued a successful career in several businesses, even attending the Advance Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1978. He co-authored with Jeffrey Kluger, the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 upon which the Ron Howard film Apollo 13 is based. Lovell’s career continues to be diverse, and even includes opening a restaurant in 1999, Lovells of Lake Forest. Many interviewers call Lovell unassuming despite his many impressive accomplishments and numerous awards, which include the Distinguished Flying Cross Award, the Legion d’honneur, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a PublicPeople contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon337591 — On Jun 06, 2013

What did James Lovell do after he left NASA?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a PublicPeople contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.