Jack Parsons

(October 2, 1914 — June 17, 1952)

John Whiteside Parsons (born Marvel Whiteside Parsons) and best known as Jack Parsons was an American fan, rocket engineer and rocket propulsion researcher, chemist, inventor, businessman, writer, socialite, and Thelemite occultist. He died in an explosion on June 17, 1952.

His occult involvement derived from Aleister Crowley — and L. Ron Hubbard was one of his disciples.

He was associated with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and was one of the principal founders of both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Aerojet Engineering Corporation. He invented the first rocket engine using a castable, composite rocket propellant, and pioneered the advancement of both liquid-fuel and solid-fuel rockets.

He was the thinly-veiled model of Hugo Chantrelle, one of the characters in Anthony Boucher's Rocket to the Morgue.


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