High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Eugene Francis "Gene" Kranz (born August 17, 1933) is 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. He is also noted for his trademark close-cut flattop hairstyle, and the wearing of dapper white "mission" vests (waistcoats), of different styles and materials made by Mrs. Kranz, during missions for which he acted as Flight Director. A personal friend to the American astronauts of his time, Kranz remains a prominent and colorful figure in the history of U.S. manned space exploration, literally, 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 the recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom. In a 2010 Space Foundation survey, Kranz was ranked as the #2 most popular space hero.