Mr. James R. Pignataro, Sr.

A world-recognized expert in missile defense discrimination, Mr. James R. Pignataro (Deceased) was inducted into the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor as a part of a reception during the 4th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference held at the Von Braun Center, on Tuesday, the twenty-first of August, 2001.  Assisting in the induction ceremony were U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (Alabama) and Lieutenant General Joseph M. Cosumano, Jr., Commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

Mr. James R. Pignataro is a world-recognized expert in missile defense discrimination, having made significant contributions to this field in industry and in government for over 30 years.  In 1970 he attended the Seventh Congress of the International Council on Aeronautical Sciences in Rome, Italy.  While serving on the staff of the Ballistic Missile Defense Advanced Technology Center in Huntsville, he made many contributions to discrimination technology.  The first government contract for research on the free electron laser was a result of Mr. Pignataro’s leadership of the BMDATC Active Search Program.  Upon retirement in 1985, he continued to do consulting work for Teledyne Brown and Textron.

A brilliant engineer and scientist, Mr. Pignataro had a love of life and family and an intellectual curiosity that never ceased.  His interests varied from photography to music and cooking.  He was an avid reader, a piano player who never took a lesson and had a beautiful baritone singing voice.  A true man for all seasons, he maintained his interest and love in his family and friends on a daily basis from Denmark to Texas and beyond.  He and his wife, “Edna Pearl” traveled the world visiting their children, grandchildren, family, and friends.  In later years, he “traveled” every day to the homes and hearts of his family and friends through the Internet.  He was an adviser, teacher, mentor, and loyal friend.  All who knew him knew they were in the presence of a gentleman of brilliance, compassion, and generosity.

Mr. Pignataro was the 26th member of the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor.