John Rettaliata

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John Theodore Rettaliata
President of the
Illinois Institute of Technology
In office
Preceded by Henry Townley Heald
Succeeded by Maynard P. Venema
Personal details
Born (1911-08-18)August 18, 1911
Died August 8, 2009(2009-08-08) (aged 97)
Children Stephen, Brian, and Patricia
Alma mater Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Johns Hopkins University
Profession Fluid dynamicist

John Theodore Rettaliata (August 18, 1911 – August 8, 2009) was a fluid dynamicist who was president of Illinois Institute of Technology for 21 years, from 1952 to 1973, and served on President Dwight D. Eisenhower's National Aeronautics and Space Council, the predecessor to NASA.[1] He received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers/Pi Tau Sigma joint Gold Medal in 1942,[2] received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of Johns Hopkins University,[3] was a National Honorary Member of the Triangle Fraternity,[4] and held a lifetime position on the Museum of Science and Industry Board of Trustees.[5] He also held the distinction of being one of the first people to fly in a jet aircraft.[6] Illinois Institute of Technology has a professorial position dedicated to Rettaliata, the John T. Rettaliata Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, currently occupied by Hassan M. Nagib.[7]


Rettaliata attended the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute magnet high school which enabled him to enter Johns Hopkins University as a sophomore in 1929. He graduated with a Ph.D. in 1936. Rettaliata died on August 8, 2009 at the age of 97.[8]


  1. ^ "Biographies of Aerospace Officials and Policymakers". NASA. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  2. ^ "Pi Tau Sigma Gold Medal". American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  3. ^ "The Distinguished Alumnus Award". Johns Hopkins University. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  4. ^ "Triangle Fraternity – Individual Awards". ASME. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  5. ^ "Museum of Science and Industry Board of Trustees". Museum of Science and Industry. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  6. ^ "Engineering's Engine of Change" (PDF). Johns Hopkins University. Fall 2008. pp. 30–34. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  7. ^ "IIT Faculty – Hassan Nagib". IIT. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  8. ^ "Obituary for John T. Rettaliata". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
Henry Townley Heald
President of the Illinois Institute of Technology
Succeeded by
Maynard P. Venema