Jack Foley A. Horkheimer Star Gazer

NameJack Foley A. Horkheimer
Creator/Writer/HostStar Hustler/Star Gazer
Executive DirectorMiami Space Transit Planetarium
Miami, Florida USA
BornFoley Arthur Horkheimer
June 11, 1938
Randolph, Wisconsin, United States
DiedAugust 20, 2010 (aged 72)
Miami, Florida, United States
Known forJack Horkheimer: Star Gazer
image of Jack Foley Horkheimer star gazer
image of Jack Foley Horkheimer Star Gazer

Jack Foley Horkheimer, Executive Director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium at the Miami Science Museum for over 35 years is an internationally recognized pioneer in popularizing naked-eye astronomy.

He revolutionized planetarium presentations and his “Child Of The Universe”, which his peers have dubbed a “classic” celebrated its 35th anniversary in April 2007. He is best known as the creator/writer/host of public television’s “Star Hustler/Star Gazer”, the 30 year long running weekly TV series on naked eye astronomy.

Seen on PBS stations nationwide, “Star Gazer” reaches millions more via cable and is also seen worldwide via WORLDNET – the official television network of the United States Information Agency. Horkheimer appears frequently on South Florida and major national TV and Radio Networks and has narrated several solar eclipses for CNN. He has made frequent appearances on national talk shows, from Charlie Rose to Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael to Geraldo.

In his passion to bring astronomy to the public he has led several solar eclipse expeditions and co-organized the first supersonic Halley’s Comet Chase aboard 4 Concordes.

Horkheimer, who gives his age as somewhere between post-puberty and pre-senility, says he especially enjoys his cartoon alter-ego in the monthly “Star Gazing With Jack Horkheimer” comic strip in Odyssey Magazine. In Nov. 2006 several years of cartoon strips were released in hard cover book format.

He was absurdly delighted to be the summer weekend host on Time/Warner’s Cartoon Network, introducing such intellectual celebrities as “Johnny Bravo”, “Cow and Chicken”, “The Power Puff Girls”, “Ed, Edd and Eddie” and “I. M. Weasel”.

Recognized by his TV sign-off “Keep Looking Up”, Horkheimer revealed that although he intends to be stargazing well into the third millennium, nevertheless he has already erected his own tombstone with the following epitaph:

“Keep Looking Up was my life’s admonition,
I can do little else in my present position.”

Until then he remains vertical.

Recent Awards:

  1. ‘Asteroid 1999 FD9’ was renamed ‘Asteroid Horkheimer’ by the International Astronomical Union, Cambridge, Mass. in recognition of his lifelong contributions to popularizing astronomy. (‘Asteroid Horkheimer’ orbits between the planets Mars and Jupiter and Horkheimer suspects that it has “Earth Or Bust” etched across its surface.)
  2. United States House of Representatives Congressional Record Outstanding Contributions Award.
  3. Honorary Doctorate Degree by the International Fine Arts College.
  4. Outstanding Achievement Award from the Astronomical League Past recipients include Carl Sagan, Edwin Hubble (Hubble Space Telescope) , Clyde Tombaugh (discoverer of Planet ? Pluto).
  5. Recipient of the Klumpke-Roberts Award for 2000 from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for popularizing astronomy.
  6. City of Miami – Silver Medallion Award.
  7. Recipient of the 12 Good Men Award by Ronald McDonald House.

Miscellaneous Stuff:

  • Founding Member of the International Planetarium Society. Founding co-editor of “The Planetarian” and past editor of “Southern Skies”.
  • Mr. Horkheimer has set up and funded annual scholarship awards for young astronomers in cooperation with the Astronomical League.
  • He has also assisted colleagues in the placement of a telescope on board the International Space Station.

“Star Hustler/Star Gazer” celebrated its 30th anniversary Nov. 4, 2006 with over 1500 weekly episodes taped to date. Weekly episodes of “Star Gazer” can be downloaded over the internet at www.jackstargazer.com. The “Star Gazer” website is a Key Resource Award winner and is visited by over 100 countries a month. Mr. Horkheimer has produced several home videos on naked-eye astronomy with WPBT-TV 2 , Miami, Florida, the proceeds of which go entirely to the production of “Star Gazer”.

“Star Gazer” is recognized by its peers as ” The world’s first TV and Cyber-Planetarium” and is the largest outreach program of any Science Museum / Planetarium in history. More people learn about naked-eye astronomy via “Star Gazer” in one week than the combined weekly attendance of all planetariums worldwide.

QUESTION: Why does Jack Horkheimer always say “Keep Looking Up”?
ANSWER: Have you ever tried star gazing looking down?