Jack Cover

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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)
Mission Viejo, California
Residence San Clemente
Other names Jack Cover
Known for Taser inventor
Spouse(s) Ginny
Children 4

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


Cover was born in New York City on April 6, 1920, and grew up in Chicago.[1] His father was a professor of economics. His mother earned a mathematics master’s degree at the University of Chicago (U of C).[2] Cover earned a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in nuclear physics at U of C,[1] studying under Enrico Fermi.[3] During World War II, he was an Army Air Force test pilot. He later worked at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. He was a scientist at North American Aviation from 1952 until 1964 and also worked for NASA[3] (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]

Private life[edit]

Cover was married three times, the first two ended in divorce. His last marriage was to Ginny. He had four children, a son and three daughters.[2] He had Alzheimer's disease, and died of pneumonia on February 7, 2009 at the Golden West Retirement Homer in Mission Viejo, California.[1][4][2]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Woo, Elaine (February 13, 2009). "Jack Cover dies at 88; scientist invented the Taser stun gun". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 13, 2009. 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 c Weber, Bruce (February 16, 2009). "Jack Cover, 88, Physicist Who Invented the Taser Stun Gun, Dies". New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Cover's obituary, Time Magazine, early 2009 (before March)
  4. ^ "Inventor of Taser gun dies of pneumonia". Associated Press. 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2009. 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. 

External links[edit]