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  Howard Benedict, veteran reporter and former ASF director, dies

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Author Topic:   Howard Benedict, veteran reporter and former ASF director, dies
Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-26-2005 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Howard Benedict, known to some as the "dean" of space reporting and the former Executive Director of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, died Monday at his Florida home.

In the early years of the U.S. space program, Benedict introduced generations to space exploration, covering more than 2,000 missile and rocket launches as the senior aerospace writer for The Associated Press. He covered the first 65 U.S. human space flights from Alan Shepard’s Mercury mission in 1961 to the 34th Space Shuttle mission in 1990 for 31 of the 37 years he worked for the wire service.

Benedict authored three books ("NASA: A Quarter Century of Space Achievement" in 1984; "NASA: The Journey Continues" in 1989; and "At Home in Space" in 1995) and in 1994 cowrote "Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon" with fellow reporter Jay Barbree and astronauts Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton.

In 1992, Benedict began inspiring a new generation by providing educational opportunities for college engineering and science students offered through the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. He retired as Executive Director of the ASF in 2004, but continued to serve on their Board of Directors.

He is survived by his wife.

On a personal note, Howard was one of the very first people I "met" online through the Prodigy dial-up service during the early-1990s.

He was always open to sharing his vast knowledge and experience about the space program. I considered it an honor in later years to be able to work with him directly on projects for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

He will be greatly missed.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited April 26, 2005).]

albatron@aol.com
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posted 04-26-2005 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron@aol.com   Click Here to Email albatron@aol.com     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree Robert, Howard was truly a giant of the era.

We had a misunderstanding at an event a while back, that we not only worked out but became friends over and laughed repeatedly about it every time we saw each other.

He and Alan Shepard did quite a tremendous undertaking establishing the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and the fruits of their labour are very evident.

Linn LeBlanc who suceeded him is carrying on that tradition very well. Im sure there will be a rememberence this weekend at the Induction, and I know it will be done very well.

There are a lot of sad hearts today - mine is certainly one of them. Godspeed Howard.

Al

Ben
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posted 04-26-2005 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A true pioneer; one I can relate to. I want to add my condolences to his family and those who knew him.

KSCartist
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posted 04-26-2005 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Howard Benedict was a giant to those of us who are "fans" of space exploration. I was one of those who had an opportunity to visit with him and enjoy some of his stories. He was also a kind gentleman. We have lost someone very special and he will be greatly missed.

Tim

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-26-2005 12:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astronauts Remember Benedict:

Scott Carpenter (Mercury Astronaut): Howard benedict was always with us. He was always an inspiration. Now when remembering him we will continue to be inspired. With his guidance, the Astronaut Hall of Fame and Astronaut Scholarship Foundation flourished. He will be sorely missed.

Bob Crippen (Shuttle Astronaut and ASF Vice Chairman): Howard was a great voice for the Space Program and the driving force behind the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. He'll be sorely missed by all.

John Glenn (Mercury/Shuttle Astronaut, ASF Director of the Board): Howard Benedict's professional life recorded the manned space program from its earliest days. Always fair and objective, his coverage became the standard for America and indeed for the world. Retirement was not a real word for Howard. His leadership of AHOF and ASF resulted in help for many, many students whose studies would have otherwise ended. Quiet, friendly and unassuming, Howard became a loyal and wonderful, personal friend to me and to all the astronauts. He lived a most productive life and we will miss him very much. Thoughts and prayers go out to Joy.

James Lovell (Gemini and Apollo Astronaut, ASF Chairman Emeritus): I am truly saddened by the recent death of my friend and colleague Howard Benedict. I have known Howard for over 30 years, first meeting him when I was still in the space program. But more recently I have work closely with him on the ASF board. Howard’s unwavering devotion and support of the foundation is a tribute to a man that that will live on for years. ASF is what it is today in great part to Howard and his steadfast dedication to the astronauts, their legacy and the scientists of the future that benefited from his many years of work. We have not only lost a friend but we have lost a true champion.

Jeff Thompson
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posted 04-26-2005 03:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jeff Thompson   Click Here to Email Jeff Thompson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a shock! I saw Howard listed as being ON-Line on my Buddy List Chat board just a few days ago, but didn't hail him then.

In the early and mid 1960s' Howard was a congenial fellow journalist, during the early days at JSC, Houston, where I had built Radio Station KMSC. He, along with me and my fellow on-air colleague, Col. John (Shorty) Powers (former NASA PAO,)were shoulder-to-shoulder at adjacent desks during the long days and nights of Mercury,Gemini and early Apollo.

Howard was a real pro and a supporter of the space program, who along with other of us, like Bill Hines, Al Web, Roy Neal, Jules Bergman, etc. continually pushed NASA for clarity and openess of its missions. And NASA responded well to those urgings....most of the time.

I moved on to other media work in New York City at Westinghouse Broadcasting, RKO,NBC and Madison Avenue.

But decades later, Howard and I renewed our acquaitence, at the Astronauts Hall of Fame where his Astronauts Scholarship Foundation was headquartered. I was proud to introduce my son to my old colleague. We vowed to keep in touch.

Upon his retirment from ASF, we struck up some e-mail correspondence reminiscing over "the old days" back at JSC,

I'm sorry he won't get to finish his AP book, with the awesome accuracy and detail that ONLY Howard Benedict could report.

Still another giant of Space Journalism, has left the stage and will be sorely missed.
bon Voyage, old friend. - JEFF


Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-26-2005 10:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A memorial service for Howard Benedict will be held Friday, April 29 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex beginning at 9:00am. The service is open to the public.

spaceuk
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From: Staffs, UK
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posted 04-27-2005 05:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry to read that Howard has died.

I met him briefly a couple times out at Cocoa during late Apollo days and Skylab - once at a pre-launch news media party and had some brief email exchanges some months ago.

Condolences to his family and friends.


Phill Parker
UK


randy
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From: West Jordan, Utah USA
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posted 04-30-2005 01:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My condolences to his family, also. I had the privelege of both hearing and meeting him when he came to Salt Lake City for an award from the local media. He will be sorely missed.

[This message has been edited by randy (edited April 30, 2005).]

Scott
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posted 04-30-2005 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Howard Benedict story was when me and elderly ex-Frank Sinatra bodyguard and Shepard friend "Jerry the Crusher" were sitting in the lobby of the NASA Hilton before the Shepard Memorial and Jerry mistook Howard for Scott Carpenter. Jerry started giving him photos and T-shirts and poor Howard was understandably confused by it all.

Sorry to see that he has passed.

[This message has been edited by Scott (edited April 30, 2005).]

Cindys_1
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posted 04-30-2005 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cindys_1   Click Here to Email Cindys_1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert,

Wasn't it I who introduced you to Howard?

I'm not 100% sure.

------------------
Cindy

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