James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., (born March 25, 1928) is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission control. Lovell was also the command module pilot of Apollo 8, the first Apollo mission to enter lunar orbit. Lovell is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon, the first of only three people to fly to the Moon twice, and the only one to do so without making a landing. Lovell was also the first American to fly in space four times.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio to a Czech mother, Lovell's family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he graduated from Juneau High School and became an Eagle Scout. His father died in a car accident when Jim was young and, for about two years, he resided with a relative in Terre Haute, Indiana.
As a boy, Lovell was interested in rocketry, and built flying models.