Stapp, John Paul

Stapp, John Paul

(1910–  ) aviation physician; born in Salvador, Brazil. The son of American missionary parents, he earned a Ph.D. in biophysics (1939) and a medical degree (1943) before joining the army medical corps, where he began a life's work of research into the limits of human endurance, especially in regard to the physiological effects of high acceleration. As part of his research, he rode a rocket sled to a land speed record of 632 miles per hour in 1954. His work helped speed the manned exploration of space; he served as chief scientist of the Aerospace Medical Team in 1962. Stapp joined the faculty of the University of Southern California after retiring from government service in 1970.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.