Student Work – Bruce C. Murray and Art Donovan

 Bruce C. Murray by Mary Caputo


Mary Caputo


Bruce C. Murray
Image from Wikipedia, click for source

As I was looking through the newspaper I came across an obituary of a man by the name of Bruce C. Murray who died on August 29,2013.  This caught my attention because he was the former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1976 to 1982.  The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) does research and then builds spacecrafts to explore the Earth, its solar system and the outer regions of space.  The JPL is managed by the California Institute of Technology for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  JPL is located in Pasadena, California.

Bruce Churchill Murray was born in New York City on November 30, 1931.   The family moved to California where he graduated from Santa Monica High School.  He then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a Ph.D in geology.  Dr. Murray was a geologist at Standard Oil, geophysicist in the Air Force and then a researcher and professor at Caltech which manages JPL.  Dr. Murray was in the program which launched the Mariner missions to Mars in the 1960s and 1970s.  He was instrumental in having pictures taken of the planet and sent back to Earth.  He used those images to create a geological history of Mars.  In 1976 he became the Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  During that time there were two Viking missions which collected soil and rocks on Mars. Also, spacecrafts Voyagers 1 and 2 were launched into the outer limits of our solar system.  These federally funded projects were being cut by the government; he fought and was able to get more funding.  This enabled the Galileo mission to Jupiter.  Dr. Murray along with astronomer Carl Sagan and engineer Louis Friedman founded a non-profit organization to publically advocate the solar system called the Planetary Society.  In 1971 he was awarded NASA’s exceptional scientific achievement medal and in 1974 NASA’s distinguished public service medal.  Dr. Murray created a council of women to recruit female engineers and bring them into the space program.  Today JPL has more women employees than NASA.


After he left JPL he returned to Caltech as a professor in the geological and planetary department.  Later he was named professor emeritus.  He wrote several books including “Journey Into Space: The First Thirty Years of Space Exploration.”  He also wrote many scientific research papers.  He died at his home in Oceanside, California at the age of 81 from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease.  He has an asteroid named after him Asteroid 4957 Brucemurray.  Dr. Murray is survived by his first wife Joan O’Brien which included three children, Christine, Stephen, and Peter.  He is also survived by his second wife Suzanne Moss, her daughter Allison whom Dr. Murray adopted and their son Jonathan and 11 grandchildren.

Works Cited

Former JPL Director Bruce Murray Dies After a Long Illness, Jet Propulsion Laboratory-NASA (August 29, 2013),

John Noble Wilford, Obituaries, Bruce C. Murray, 81, Dies; Helped Earth Learn of Mars, N.Y. Times, August 30, 2013, at A20

Thomas H. Maugh II, Bruce C. Murray dies at 81; former director of JPL, L.A. Times, (August 29, 2013),

Matt Schudel, Bruce C. Murray, NASA Space scientist, dies at 81, Wash. Post, (August 30, 2013),

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (lasted visited September 6, 2013),



Art Donovan by Lucas Almonte



Art Donovan
Image from Wikipedia, click for source

Baseball is referred to as “America’s favorite pastime”, but in the past 50 years American Football has gained a momentum rivaling for the title of “America’s favorite pastime”. Arthur James “The Bulldog” Donovan, Jr., one of the prominent the NFL Hall of Famers accredited with transcending American sports culture passed away on August 4, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland of a respiratory ailment at age 89. [1]

Art Donovan was born on June 5, 1924 in the Bronx, New York. His father, Arthur Donovan, Sr., is unequivocally the most famed boxing referee of all time, referring a total of fourteen heavyweight title matches and inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame posthumously in 1993.  However, the Donovan family’s rich sports history traces back to one generation earlier. Art Donovan Jr.’s grandfather was Boxing Hall of Famer Mike Donovan, who was at one point in the 1870’s the World Middleweight boxing champion. Mike Donovan’s championship belt was bequeathed to his son. [2] With a family enshrined in sports history, Art Donovan would set out on his own path to make a name for him.

In 1942, at the height of U.S involvement in World War II, Art Donovan like many athletes at the time gave up his scholarship and enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. Donovan eventually served four years and fought in key military battles in the Pacific including Iwo Jima. After returning back to the United States, Donovan finished his college career and was drafted by the Baltimore Colts football team in 1950.

On December 28, 1958, Donovan and his team, the Colts, played the New York Giants for the NFL championship in what is called as the “greatest game ever played”.[3] 40 million Americans tuned in to watch the nationally televised game and what they saw was the birth of a new era in American sports. The 300 pound, crew cut, blue collar attitude Art Donovan stood out from the rest and carried his team on his shoulders. The game ended in a 17-17 tie, however, since it was a championship game, a winner had to be crowned. The NFL extended the game into an unprecedented sudden death “overtime” period.  With the help from a crucial play by Donovan, the Colts would go on to defeat the Giants 23-17, enshrining a story and legacy in football immortality.

Art Donovan went on to win another championship and was inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame in 1968. Despite becoming a national sensation while on the football circuit, Art Donovan made a name for himself by using his hilarious gridiron stories to bridge the gap between the past generations and present generations on late night television. With a humble personality bigger than television, Donovan became a popular late night guest. He appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman over ten different times, participated in a super bowl commercial with Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno and co-hosted Braase, Donovan, Davis and Fans on WJZ-TV in Baltimore.[4] Donovan’s charismatic personality made him a crowd favorite both on and off the field. His passing on August 4, 2013, left those fifteen family members around his death bed, football players from across generations and Americans alike in retrospection and reminiscing on the stories left by the great Arthur James “The Bulldog” Donovan, Jr. He is survived by his wife, a sister; a son, Arthur J. Donovan III, daughters Debbie Donovan Smith, Christine Donovan, Mary Donovan O’Hern and Kelly Donovan-Mazzulli, and seven grandchildren.[5] Although no official will has been released, Art Dovonan and his wife have owned Valley Country Clubin Towson, Maryland since 1955.[6] In 1977, Donovan’s 1958 championship ring was stolen from his Hong Kong hotel room. Thirty-four years in 2011, Donovan was reunited with his championship ring from the greatest game ever played. The ring was put on sale Craigslist for $25,000 by a member of the seller’s family a few years earlier.  A friend of Donovan came across the post on the website and alerted police who were then able to recover the ring and return it to its rightful owner. When asked about the story and recovery of his championship ring, Art Donovan replied “The ring is great, but time marches on.” [7]

Works Cited

Art Donovan (Sep. 4, 2013, 3:44 PM),

Mike Klingaman, Art Donovan: An NFL classic dies at 89, The Baltimore Sun (Sept. 4,             2013),            dies-at-89

Prof. Mike Donovan (Sep. 4, 2013),   

Valley Country Club,   

Peter Hermann and Edward Lee, Championship ring stolen from Colts great returned,             The Baltimore Sun,            donovan-ring-returned-20110823_1_ring-art-donovan-howard-county-police

[1]  Mike Klingaman, Art Donovan: An NFL classic dies at 89, The Baltimore Sun (Sept. 4, 2013),

[3] Mike Klingaman, supra.

[4] Art Donovan (Sep. 4, 2013, 3:44 PM),

[5]  Id,

[7] Peter Hermann and Edward Lee, Championship ring stolen from Colts great returned, The Baltimore Sun,


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