FIRST loses one of its biggest supporters


Mark Leon RIP

Received the sad news today that Mark Leon, “NASA Mark” has passed away.

Many of us who have been in FIRST some time will remember him as a game Emcee at Championships and many Regionals. He hosted both Fingerlakes and Buckeye multiple times as well as IRI and many regional competitions in his home area. He was one of the go-to Emcees that FIRST could always call on to fill in anywhere.

He was known for his many anecdotes from his travels around the world and his acrobatics on the field.

He was accomplished in both Judo and Tae-kwon-do. He volunteered as an self-defense instructor with high school students.

In the 1980s Mark Leon was instrumental in establishing trans-Atlantic communication between American, French and English space agencies. In the 1990s he completed the first audio/video link to Antarctica.

He was Program Manager for the NASA Lunar Micro-Rover Program, a smaller rover similar to the Mars Rover.

In recent years, he was in charge of NASA’s Robotics Alliance Project, which kept him working closely with FIRST. He was a mentor to many robotics teams in many programs over the years.

Mark Leon quotes:

  • It’s all about the math.
  • We must put more into the bowl of life than we take.
  • Life isn’t fair, so don’t let it stop you.
  • Standing in the future allows for clairvoyance.
  • A true friend wants for you not from you.
  • Believing that something is impossible doesn’t make it true.

We will miss hearing his catchphrase “Do the math. Save the World.”

Mark Leon: Helping Kids Build a Better Robot

Mark Leon on Wikipedia

Chief Delphi discussion

Do the math, save the world

2018 Championship Mark Leon Memorial Robot Sticker


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