Elected in 1969
“For conception and development of electronic reconnaissance devices.”
BY ALLEN PUCKETT
JOHN LUTHER MCLUCAS—businessman, scientist, administrator, author, and visionary—died of respiratory failure on December 1, 2002, in Alexandria, Virginia. With his death, we lost a distinguished public servant and a good friend. John was exceptional in how he embraced public service. He considered it to be a privilege, a duty, and an opportunity to contribute to the public good.
John was born in North Carolina. After his father died when he was 2, John was raised by various relatives in South Carolina. He worked his way through Davidson College with the assistance of an aunt who sent him $50 a month. He went on to earn a master’s degree in physics at Tulane University in 1943 and later a doctorate in physics from Penn State University in 1950.
During World War II, after advanced training at Princeton and MIT, John served as a naval radar officer in the Pacific, where his ship was damaged by a kamikaze attack in the Battle for Okinawa. While attending Penn State after the war, he began working for Haller, Raymond, & Brown Inc., eventually becoming the president of HRB-Singer (now part of Raytheon) and the father of four children. While with HRB, John was awarded 10 patents as he contributed to pioneering developments in infrared aerial photography, radar imaging,