Contemporary African-American Inventors

January 10, 2011  |  


Lonnie G. Johnson

Lonnie G. Johnson is former Acting Chief of the Space Nuclear Power Safety Section at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He also was  Senior Systems Engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where he worked on the Galileo mission to Jupiter. But most people recognize the Tuskegee University alumnus most popular invention: the Super Soaker squirt gun. Just two years after inventing the toy it reportedly generated $200 million in sales. Johnson  holds more than 80 patents, with over 20 more pending, and is the author of several publications on spacecraft power systems.

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