James Montgomery Beggs (born January 9, 1926) served as the 6th Administrator of NASA. Nominated by President Reagan on June 1, 1981, Beggs took his oath of office and entered the post on July 10, 1981, serving until December 4, 1985.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Beggs was a 1947 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served with the United States Navy until 1954. In 1955, he received a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Prior to his appointment as NASA Administrator, Beggs had been Executive Vice President and a director of General Dynamics Corp. in St. Louis, Missouri. Previously he had served with NASA in 1968-1969 as Associate Administrator, Office of Advanced Research and Technology. From 1969 to 1973, he was Under Secretary of Transportation. He went to Summa Corp. in Los Angeles, California, as Managing Director, Operations and joined General Dynamics in January 1974. Before joining NASA, he had been with Westinghouse Electric Corp., in Sharon, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland for thirteen years.
Beggs served as NASA Administrator until December 1985, when he took an indefinite leave of absence pending disposition of an indictment from the U.S. Justice Department for activities taking place prior to his tenure at NASA. This indictment was later dismissed, and the U.S. Attorney General apologized to Mr. Beggs for any embarrassment.
Beggs married Mary Harrison, and they had five children. Since leaving NASA, Beggs has worked as a consultant from his offices in Bethesda, Maryland.