Full name: Eugene (Gene) F. Kranz. Born August 17, 1933 in Toledo
Kranz received a BS in aeronautical engineering from Parks College, St. Louis, Missouri in 1954. He joined the Space Task Group, which was the nucleus of NASA's manned space program, in 1960.
Kranz was a mission controller from the beginning of the Mercury project. He was promoted to the position of flight director in 1964 for the Gemini project and continued in that role during the Apollo project.
He is perhaps best known for his role as leader of the tiger team that saved the lives of the Apollo 13 astronauts, where he uttered his most famous saying, "Failure is not an option."
In 1974, Kranz became the deputy of NASA mission operations and director in 1983. He retired from NASA in 1994.