Jack Cover

There was a whiff of the future in the Taser. When inventor Jack Cover, who died Feb. 7 at 88, first conceived his controversial stun gun, he imagined a world in which danger could be averted without the use of deadly force.

A nuclear physicist who studied at the University of Chicago under Enrico Fermi, Cover worked as a contract scientist on NASA's Apollo moon program. It was during this period in the 1960s--an era of civil unrest, airplane hijackings and urban violence--that he began to ponder the need for a nonlethal weapon.

Cover recalled his favorite book of childhood adventure...

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