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A photo of Alfred Alibrando, a former NASA public affairs officer.

Alfred Alibrando

Public Affairs, NASA

Alfred P. “Al” Alibrando served as a NASA public information/public affairs officer from 1960 to 1975 at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

Alibrando began his career with the space agency as a public information officer assigned to manned flight and lunar and planetary programs. He was to become, over his years with the agency, public affairs officer for Manned Spaceflight, deputy director of Public Information, director of Public Information, acting assistant administrator of Public Affairs, and finally, deputy assistant administrator of Public Affairs.

For those who worked with him, he will always be remembered as the NASA Headquarters leader who took the greatest interest in and was the biggest help in staffing and solving problems at the field center Public Affairs offices. He was a dependable, knowledgeable and caring liaison between the field and every aspect of headquarters hierarchy.

Alibrando was deeply involved in public affairs programs related to NASA’s manned flight programs – Mercury, Gemini. Apollo, Apollo-Soyuz and Skylab. He had the responsibility as public affairs officer for manned spaceflight for bringing together from headquarters and NASA centers the public affairs teams that staffed the news centers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center, tracking stations and recovery ships for manned space missions from Gemini through Apollo. The organization and personnel on that team, in his opinion, contributed to the success in handling unprecedented numbers of press at the Kennedy Press Site during launch and the Johnson press rooms during missions.

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, he served in the Navy in World War II and saw service in the Pacific as a radioman/aerial gunner on torpedo bombers. After the war he returned to Ohio State University and graduated in 1948 with a degree in journalism. Over the years he worked on several newspapers including the Indianapolis Times, The Columbus Citizen (Ohio), Washington Evening Star, and the magazine Aviation Week and Space Technology.

After 15 years with NASA, Alibrando decided in 1975, he should undertake something new and different, and moved to the newly formed government agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, as director of Public Information. When ERDA was absorbed into the new Department of Energy in 1977, he continued in the same role until 1979 when he retired from government. Alibrando then joined the Kerr-McGee Corp., an energy and chemical conglomerate headquartered in Oklahoma City as director of corporate communications.

With a home built and waiting on Marco Island, Fla., Alibrando decided it was time to retire in 1981 and enjoy life. He and his wife, Ruth Ann, lived on Marco Island until 1997 when they moved to Naples. Alibrando passed away in 2005.

Alibrando has two daughters who live and work in the Washington area. Ruth Ann is also a NASA alumnus who is remembered by many retired NASA people and press as a very efficient and helpful secretary in the NASA Kennedy Public Information office in Cocoa Beach during the early years of the space program.