Jack Cover

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John Higson Cover, Jr.
John Higson Cover, Jr. 45036223.jpg
Born John Higson Cover
(1920-04-06)April 6, 1920
New York City
Died February 7, 2009(2009-02-07) (aged 88)

John "Jack" Higson Cover, Jr. (April 6, 1920 – February 7, 2009) was the inventor of the Taser stun gun.[1]


He was born in New York City on April 6, 1920, and grew up in Chicago.[1] He earned a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in nuclear physics at the University of Chicago,[1] studying under Enrico Fermi.[2] During World War II, he was an Army Air Force test pilot. He later worked the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. He was a scientist at North American Aviation from 1952 until 1964 and also worked for NASA[2] (Apollo program), IBM and Hughes Aircraft.[1]

In 1970, he formed Taser Systems, Inc., named for a Tom Swift novel about the Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle. Because the Taser used gunpowder to launch the darts, the federal government considered it a firearm, a classification that ruled out a civilian market and also discouraged police and military sales.[1]

He had Alzheimer's disease, and died of pneumonia at his home in New York.[1][3]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Jack Cover dies at 88; scientist invented the Taser stun gun". Los Angeles Times. February 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-13. "Jack Cover, an aerospace scientist who invented the Taser stun gun. a device used by thousands of law enforcement agencies to subdue unruly offenders with electrical shocks -- has died. He was 88." 
  2. ^ a b Cover's obituary, Time Magazine, early 2009 (before March)
  3. ^ "Inventor of Taser gun dies of pneumonia". Associated Press. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-13. "John "Jack" H. Cover, the inventor of the Taser stun gun used by thousands of police agencies around the world, has died. He was 88." 

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