NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has had many famous and interesting visitors over the years, from fellow scientists, to film industry stars, to musicians, to reporters, and many more. One notable visit was from legendary actor and diplomat, Sidney Poitier. One of the first Black actors to win an Academy Award, which he did for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field (1963), Poitier visited JPL in March 1979.
Pictured here with then-JPL center director Dr. Bruce Murray and others, Poitier got to view and learn about the Voyager model, among other JPL highlights on his tour of the Lab.
Later in life, Poitier was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, became the Bahamian ambassador to Japan, won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album, and received the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Life Achievement Award, along with countless other accolades. Poitier passed away on Jan. 7, 2022, at the age of 94.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL