James A. Lovell, Jr. (born March 25, 1928) was a NASA astronaut who flew on Gemini 7, Gemini 12, and Apollo 8, but is most famous as the commander who brought the crippled Apollo 13 back safely. His four flights made him the recordholder for time in space (over 715 hours) until the Skylab missions.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he went to the University of Wisconsin and then the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1952 and entering the United States Navy. He spent four years as a test pilot at the Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, Maryland, then was selected in 1962 for the second group of NASA astronauts.
He retired from the Navy and the space program in 1973 and went to work at the Bay-Houston Towing Company in Houston, Texas, becoming CEO in 1975. He became president of Fisk Telephone Systems in 1977, and later worked for Centel, retiring as an executive vice president on January 1, 1991.
He was depicted by Tom Hanks in the movie Apollo 13, although the physical resemblance is slight. The film was based upon the story of the Apollo 13 flight as told in Lovell's book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13.