John Higson Cover Jr. (April 6, 1920 – February 7, 2009) was an American aerospace scientist who was the inventor of the taser stun gun.[1]

John Higson Cover Jr.
John Higson Cover

(1920-04-06)April 6, 1920
DiedFebruary 7, 2009(2009-02-07) (aged 88)
Other namesJack Cover
Known forTaser inventor



Jack Cover was born in New York City on April 6, 1920, and grew up in Chicago.[1] His father was a professor of economics. His mother earned a mathematics master's degree at the University of Chicago.[2] Cover earned a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in nuclear physics at the same university,[1] studying under Enrico Fermi.[3] During World War II, he was an Army Air Force test pilot. He later worked at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. He was a scientist at North American Aviation from 1952 until 1964 and also worked for NASA[3] (Apollo program), IBM and Hughes Aircraft.[1]

In 1970, he formed Taser Systems, Inc., named for a Tom Swift novel about the Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle. Because the Taser used gunpowder to launch the darts, the federal government considered it a firearm, a classification that ruled out a civilian market and also discouraged police and military sales.[1]

Private life


Cover was married three times, the first two ended in divorce. His last marriage was to Ginny. He had five children, two sons and three daughters.[2] He had Alzheimer's disease, and died of pneumonia on February 7, 2009, at the Golden West Retirement Home in Mission Viejo, California.[1][2][4]



See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f Woo, Elaine (February 13, 2009). "Jack Cover dies at 88; scientist invented the Taser stun gun". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 13, 2009. Jack Cover, an aerospace scientist who invented the Taser stun gun. a device used by thousands of law enforcement agencies to subdue unruly offenders with electrical shocks -- has died. He was 88.
  2. ^ a b c Weber, Bruce (February 16, 2009). "Jack Cover, 88, Physicist Who Invented the Taser Stun Gun, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Cover's obituary, Time Magazine, early 2009 (before March)
  4. ^ "Inventor of Taser gun dies of pneumonia". Associated Press. 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2009. John "Jack" H. Cover, the inventor of the Taser stun gun used by thousands of police agencies around the world, has died. He was 88.