Robert Rowe Gilruth

  • Wall of Honor Location:

    Foil: 13 Panel: 2 Column: 4 Line: 72

  • Wall of Honor Level:

    Air and Space Friend

  • Honored by:

    Georgene A. Gilruth

DR ROBERT ROWE GILRUTH, "the father of America's human space flight program;" born Nashwauk, Minn., October 8, 1913. Died August 17, 2000. BS and MS in Aeronautical Engineering, University of Minnesota 1935 & 1936.

Honorary degrees:
- Doctor of Science (DSc), George Washington University, University of Minnesota, and Indiana Institute of Technology, 1962
- Doctor of Engineering (DEng), Michigan Technology University, 1963; Doctor of Laws (LLD), New Mexico State University, 1970.

- Flight research engineer. Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), Langley Field, VA, 1937-45. He managed the missile range at Wallops Island, VA.
- Chief Pilotless Aircraft Research Division, Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, NACA, 1945-50, Assistant Director, 1950-58.
- Director National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Project Mercury, 1958-61
- Director, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, TX, 1961-72.
- Director Key Personnel Development, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, 1972-73.
- Retired from NASA, December 1973.
- Consultant to Administrator, NASA, 1974.

- Director Bunker Ramo Corporation, experimenter and consultant, hydrofoil craft, 1938-58
- Advisor on guided missiles, aeronautics, and structures, high temperature facilities U.S. Department of Defense, 1947-58
- Member of committee on space systems NASA Space Advisory Council, 1972
- Chairman management development education panel NASA, 1972-73
- Member ad hoc committee fire safety aspects of polymeric materials — National Materials Advisory Board, 1973-74.

- Sylvanus Albert Reed Award, Institute of Aerospace Sciences, 1950
- Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Minnesota, 1954
- Fellow of the American Astronautical Society, 1961
- Louis W. Hill Space Transportation Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1962
- NASA Distinguished Service Medal, 1962
- Goddard Memorial Trophy of the National Rocket Club, 1962
- Great Living American Award US Chamber of Commerce, 1962
- President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian, 1962
- Americanism award China-Burma-India Veterans' Association, 1965
- Spirit of Saint Louis Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1965
- Honorary Member of the Aerospace Medical Association
- Daniel and Florence Guggenheim International Astronautics Award of the International Academy of Astronautics, 1966
- Space Flight Award by the American Astronautical Society, 1966
- Distinguished Service Medals (Apollo 8 and Apollo 11), NASA, spring and fall 1969
- One of the first 10 persons installed in the National Space Hall of Fame, 1969
- Public Service "At Large" Award, Rockefeller Foundation, 1969
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers medal, 1970
- James Watt International Medal, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1971
- Achievement award National Aviation Club, 1971
- Robert J. Collier Trophy from the National Aeronautic Association and National Aviation Club, 1972
- International Space Hall of Fame, 1976
- City of New York Medal of Honor, 1985
- Louis W. Hill Space Transportation Award, 1985
- Robert H. Goddard Memorial trophy National Rocket Club, 1985
- National Air and Space Museum trophy, 1985
- International Aerospace Hall of Fame, San Diego, 1992
- National Aviation Hall of Fame, Dayton, Ohio, 1994

- Governor of the National Rocket Club, 1960
- Member National Academy of Engineering (aeronautics and space board), 1974
- National Academy of Sciences, 1974
- Fellow in American Astronautical Society
- Honorary fellow in American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
- Honorary fellow in Royal Aeronautical Society
- International Academy of Astronautics

Wall of Honor profiles are provided by the honoree or the donor who added their name to the Wall of Honor. The Museum cannot validate all facts contained in the profiles.