Lee R. Scherer served as Director of NASA's Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., from Oct. 11, 1971 until Jan. 19, 1975.
During his tenure as director of the Flight Research Center, Scherer was responsible for the overall management of advanced aeronautical flight research conducted at the center. He continued most of the programs established by his predecessor while aligning the center's interests and projects with those of NASA Headquarters.
Scherer was then appointed director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, where he oversaw the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project – a joint manned space venture with the Soviet Union in 1975 – and also the early buildup for the Space Shuttle Program.
On Sept. 2, 1979, Scherer was promoted to associate administrator for external relations at NASA Headquarters, a position he held until his retirement from NASA.
Scherer was an honors graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1942. Most of his 25-year Naval career was spent in aviation, including a tour flying carrier-based fighters and flight test experience with helicopters.
He earned a second Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1949 from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1950.
Scherer first worked with NASA in 1962 while still on active duty with the U.S. Navy. Prior to his arriving at the Flight Research Center he was employed at NASA Headquarters in the Office of Space Science and Applications in various managerial capacities with the Apollo Program.
Scherer was awarded the NASA's Exceptional Service Medal in 1967, NASA's Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 1969 and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1974.
Following his retirement from NASA, Scherer served as a senior executive with General Dynamics Commercial Services Group in San Diego.
After a lengthy retirement in San Diego, Scherer died on May 7, 2011 at the age of 92.
Rev. May 2011