November 24, 1952 – July 30, 2018
John Morrocco, beloved husband and father of three, accomplished aerospace journalist and respected public relations executive, passed away at age 65 on July 30th in his Bethesda home. Family, friends, and colleagues worldwide are deeply feeling the loss of this much admired and devoted family man.
Professionally, John dedicated himself to excellence in journalism and communications. During 15 years with Aviation Week & Space Technology, as the Pentagon correspondent and the European bureau chief, he was one of the best in his field. The Forbes Media Guide praised John for “some of the most penetrating work on post-Cold War planning and procurement” and “near perfect” coverage of the Persian Gulf War. He also earned several awards from the Aviation Writers Association and The Royal Aeronautical Society.
A Rhode Island native, born in Providence in 1952 and raised in Cranston, John combined a life-long passion for history and travel. He earned a degree in history at Boston College, a master’s degree in international history at the London School of Economics and pursued post-graduate work in war studies at King’s College London. He was an expert on the air combat during the Vietnam War and wrote two Vietnam Experience series books: Thunder from Above and Rain of Fire.
In 2001, John traded his reporter’s notebook for a senior communications role at Boeing and embarked upon a successful 16-year corporate career. He provided expert advice and counsel for finance, Army programs, media relations, and global communications, while serving as a mentor to many. John respected reporters and they respected him - he was always a highly sought out figure at air shows, conferences and other major trade events. He was also a strong supporter of the annual Aerospace Media Awards and the Aerospace Industries Association’s Lyman Award, which recognize superior achievement in journalism or communications.
John will be fondly remembered by family and friends as a generous, caring, calm, and worldly man. He was known to enjoy cooking, good food and wine, the Washington Capitals hockey team, travel, all things related to the United Kingdom, his Saab convertible, old movies and above all, spending time with his family. John will be remembered as a strong wordsmith who kept a cool demeanor even in the toughest situations both professionally and personally. He is survived by wife Megan, children Chelsea, Matthew, and Callan, and his brother Craig. In lieu of flowers and in his memory, John’s family asks that contributions be made to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation or the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in honor of the myriad family members who they have lost to cancer.
- Celebration of Life Saturday, September 8, 2018
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September 14, 2018
I just learned that John passed away, and I am so sad. John lived in Wilmette, IL for such a short time, perhaps a year and a half, and he and Megan were so popular because of their wonderful and friendly personalities. We were sorry to see them move to Bethesda. After a time, we lost touch, but are grateful for having known John and extend our sincere condolences to Megan and their family.
September 9, 2018
I was John’s first Office Administrator at Boeing. He was gracious enough to allow me to work flexibly while raising my sons who were in elementary, middle and high school. I will be eternally grateful for this.
We traded funny stories about raising boys and had many laughs! Working for John was one of the most peaceful times of my career. He was so pleasant to be around.
I worked very hard for John although he demanded nothing! The most humble Executive ever!
September 9, 2018
I was so sad to learn, just today, of John’s passing. My father knew John when John was at AvWeek, so I grew up hearing his name. When I finally became the Pentagon correspondent at AvWeek years later, John was at Boeing, responsible for the programs I was covering. I loved working with him - he was always gracious and kind. I have such fond memories of him, and I’m sorry that he’s no longer with us. I wish his family the best during this very difficult time.
September 7, 2018
I just today learned that John passed away in July. Our children attended school together and John's wife, Megan, and I often shared stories, the way mothers do, of the endless ways the kids made us laugh and made us crazy. John always seemed very relaxed and low key. I got the feeling he was a good dad, with a wry sense of humor. I know his family will miss him. He was taken far too soon. We send our love and prayers.
August 29, 2018
John and I covered the military together for more than a decade, running into one another at assorted confabs. Then I counted on him once he made his move to Boeing. He was a great reporter at AvWeek, and I fondly remember our conversations on whatever issue of the day was preoccupying us. He struck me as someone who was judicious and gallant. I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to his family. Godspeed, John.
Thomas (Tom) Fallows
August 18, 2018
I wish I had a photo of John. We were roommates in Cambridge in the late 1970s, and friends for years after that until we lost contact in the 1980s when I moved to Italy and he moved to Wash DC. He was so kind, so thoughtful, so intelligent, and above all a real gentleman. He was the first hockey player I ever knew. He taught me about Narragansett beer and Cranston RI. I enjoyed his stories about British history, and thanks to him I heard about the Churchill War shelter underneath the Houses of Parliament. I am so sad to hear about John's news but am glad at least I have now a way to connect with his family and friends. God bless, you, John, I know your soul is resting in peace. Tom