Jackie Cooper

1922 - 2011

Jackie Cooper was born John Cooper in Los Angeles, California, to Mabel Leonard, an Italian-American stage pianist, and John Cooper. Through his mother, he was the nephew of actress Julie Leonard, screenwriter Jack Leonard, and (by marriage) director Norman Taurog. Jackie served with the Navy in the South Pacific toward the end of World War II. Then, quietly and without publicity or fanfare, compiled one of the most distinguished peacetime military careers of anyone in his profession. In 1961, as his weekly TV series Hennesey (1959) was enhancing naval recruiting efforts, accepted a commission as a line officer in the Naval Reserve with duties in recruitment, training films, and public relations. Holder of a multi-engine pilot license, he later co-piloted jet planes for the Navy, which made him an Honorary Aviator authorized to wear wings of gold-at the time only the third so honored in naval aviation history. By 1976 he had attained the rank of captain, and was in uniform aboard the c

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