|Known for||Space Historian and author; collector of space artifacts; marketing executive|
|Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program (MIT Press 2014) and "The Ultimate Engineer: The Remarkable Life of NASA's Visionary Leader George M. Low" (UNP 2019)|
Richard Jurek is an American author, numismatist, and business executive. He is the author of the book The Ultimate Engineer: The Remarkable Life of NASA’s Visionary Leader George M. Low and co-authored the book Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program.
Richard Jurek became a aerospace enthusiast and collector of space memorabilia in the 1970s. He first collected autographed space items among other collectables, eventually situating his collection mainly on mission flown space memorabilia. His collection includes a selection of $2 bills signed by astronauts that were carried while in orbit or during lunar landings during the golden age of space exploration. His unique collection of $2 bills carried by astronauts appear in the online Jefferson Space Museum. He has also exhibited pieces from his collection at the Kansas Cosmosphere and the Southern Illinois University Museum. His collection has also been covered on PBS.
Jurek is the co-author of the 2014 book Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program, which he cowrote with David Meerman Scott. The book focuses on the use of marketing techniques and marketing agreements between NASA and private industry to promote the importance of the Apollo missions to the US public. He has provided public lectures on the subject as well. The book contains around three hundred images of original ads and marketing materials, cut down from an initial collection of about three thousand. Jurek argues that what occurred during the marketing of the Apollo missions set the precedent of the modern interaction between the public and mass media. For his book he also appeared on the Science Channel’s television series NASA's Unexplained Files, as well as the documentary The Two Dollar Bill. He is also a contributor to Air & Space Smithsonian.
He also served as a consulting producer on the 2019 critically acclaimed PBS/American Experience documentary, Chasing the Moon.
In 2019 Jurek released the book The Ultimate Engineer: The Remarkable Life of NASA’s Visionary Leader George M. Low. Publishers Weekly said of the book that, "The result of Jurek’s extensive research and careful use of detail is a comprehensive portrait of a figure vastly greater in significance than in name recognition." The Library Journal’s review declared the book “scholarly, yet accessible and engaging,” and “is as much a history of NASA as a biography of George Low, and as such is an important contribution to the history of the agency.”
Jurek had previously written of Low in Air & Space Magazine, declaring Low "the man who won the moon race" for his work as Apollo Program Manager.
Jurek is the Chief Marketing and Communication Officer of Inland Marketing & Communications Inc. Previously, he was a vice president and head of corporate communications at The Northern Trust Company in Chicago.
- "Richard Jurek's space-flown $2 bills - the story of the Jefferson Spac". Paul Fraser Collectibles.
- "To the moon and back". Crain's Chicago Business. 6 September 2013.
- "University Museum (IL): "To the Moon and Back" - collectSPACE: Messages". www.collectspace.com.
- "Richard Jurek - WSIU InFocus" – via www.pbs.org.
- "Marketing the Moon". Radio National. 9 May 2014.
- Lawton, Mark. "Lovell joins discussion on marketing NASA's Apollo program". chicagotribune.com.
- "Marketing the Moon: How Space Collectors Retold the Story of Apollo's Success". news.yahoo.com.
- "Selling the Space Race: An Interview With 'Marketing the Moon' Co-Author Richard Jurek". AmericaSpace. 2 October 2014.
- "Richard Jurek". IMDb.
- "Blog". The Jefferson Space Museum.
- Jurek, Richard. "Duke Ellington's Ode to the First Moon Landing". Air & Space Magazine.
- "Chasing the Moon - Cast and Credit Page". PBS/American Experience. 2019.
- "Review: The Ultimate Engineer: The Remarkable Life of NASA's Visionary Leader George M. Low". Publishers Weekly.
- Richard, Jurek. "The Ultimate Engineer: The Remarkable Life of NASA's Visionary Leader George M. Low". Library Journal. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- Richard Jurek. "The Man Who Won the Moon Race". Air & Space Magazine.
- Mikus, Kim (11 May 2016). "Oak Brook executive never lost his passion for Apollo program". Daily Herald Business Ledger.