TASER recently announced with heartfelt emotion that the original inventor of the first TASER(R) system, John H. Jack Cover, passed away due to pneumonia this past Saturday, February 7 at the age of 88.
Cover was a physicist who in the 1960s read about President Lyndon Johnson's Blue Ribbon Crime Commission report that urged the development of non-lethal weapons development to combat airplane hi-jacking, riots and civil unrest occurring at that time. Around that same time, Cover, who was the Chief Scientist for NASA's Apollo Moon Landing program while at North American Aerospace, read a Los Angeles Times story of a hiker who survived after several hours frozen to a fence that was connected to a downed high-voltage power line. Cover's research into an electrical based weapon that focused on pulsed high-voltage but low-power current eventually led to the first generation of TASER technology.
Because of these two incidents, Jack's mind began an incredibly long and arduous journey of developing an effective non-lethal weapon. He eventually named his invention after his favorite childhood fictional character named Tom Swift, which was written by Victor Appleton. Jack created an acronym from the book entitled, Tom (A.) Swift and his Electric Rifle creating the word TASER as we know it today and is the source of our registered trademarked name for our TASER technology today.
Jack's original TASER system used gunpowder to deploy its two probes. Rick and Tom began working with Jack in 1993 to develop the first non-firearm TASER ECD for the general public's personal protection using compressed air instead of gunpowder. The result of long hours in the garage-shop down in Tucson, AZ and later in 1994 in Scottsdale, we began the production of the first TASER devices that we are all familiar with today as the predecessor to our TASER systems.
In Jack's memory TASER has decided to donate money to the Alzheimer Association to help further their research efforts.
Our VP of Communications has begun the first donation challenge of $10 to employees and to law enforcement members, who to this day, can thank Jack for helping the world to become less violent.
Donations can be made at the Alzheimers Champions website dedicated as an honor for him with some more info and a photo album on Jack.