Gavin, headed NY firm's space program, dies at 90

AP News
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Posted: Nov 01, 2010 5:50 PM
Gavin, headed NY firm's space program, dies at 90

A former president of the New York aerospace company Grumman who headed its Apollo lunar module program in the 1960s has died.

Joseph Gavin died at his home in Amherst, Mass., on Sunday. 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 the Long Island-based Grumman.

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

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

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

No cause of death was cited.