TASER International releases the following statement from Rick and Tom Smith, co-founders of TASER International, on the passing of John H. "Jack" Cover. Cover, the original inventor of the TASER technology, passed away at the age of 88 at his home near Los Angeles, Calif. on Feb. 7, 2009, due to Alzheimer's and pneumonia.
"Jack Cover was one of the most influential inventors of modern times," said Rick Smith, CEO and founder of TASER International. "His memory will live on through the lives of hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers and private citizens who are positively affected by the life-saving technology he invented nearly 40 years ago. "His dream of reducing violence through the TASER technology is being realized every day. Jack was a brilliant scientist and an important part of our lives and the founding of TASER International. He will be greatly missed."
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 to combat the airplane hijackings, 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.
The name TASER is registered trademark and an acronym derived by Cover from "Tom (A.) Swift and his Electric Rifle," a reference to Cover's favorite childhood novels written by Victor Appleton which chronicling the adventures of fictional character Tom Swift.
To honor the memory Jack Cover and his important contribution to helping the world become less violent, TASER International has made a donation to the Alzheimer's Association to help further their research efforts.