Eugene Francis "Gene" Kranz is an engineer, a retired NASA Flight Director and manager. Kranz served as a Flight Director, the successor to NASA founding Flight Director Chris Kraft, during the Gemini and Apollo programs, and is best known for his role in directing the successful Mission Control team efforts to save the crew of Apollo 13, which later became the subject story of a major motion picture of the same name, in which he was portrayed by actor Ed Harris, and serving as flight director during the first lunar landing of Apollo 11. He is also noted for his trademark close-cut flattop hairstyle, and the wearing of dapper "mission" vests, of different styles and materials made by his wife, Marta Kranz, during missions for which he acted as Flight Director.
A personal friend of the American astronauts of his time, Kranz remains a prominent and colorful figure in the history of U.S. manned space exploration, the embodiment of "NASA tough-and-competent" of the Kranz Dictum. Kranz has been the subject of movies, documentary films, and books and periodical articles. Kranz is a recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom.