John T. "Jack" Mullin, a retired electrical engineer and early audio tape pioneer, died Thursday at his Camarillo home. He was 85.
Mullin was born on Oct. 5, 1913, in San Francisco. In 1936, he graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in electrical engineering. He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II in the Pacific and Europe.
Mullin and his partner, William A. Palmer, impressed Bing Crosby so much with their audio tape experiments that Crosby provided financial backing. In 1946, Mullin and Palmer created an American version of the German "magnetophon," a high-fidelity audio tape recorder. Together they worked at Ampex Corp. to create the first commercial U.S. audio tape, which was introduced in 1948. Because of the pair's invention, the radio and television industries could tape and edit shows, rather than transmit them live.
Mullin worked for Bing Crosby Enterprises as the lead recording engineer. He also spent 28 years in Camarillo at the 3M Company as the head of the MinCom Division. He retired in 1975.
He was a member of the Audio Engineering Society for more than 50 years.
Mullin volunteered at Recording for the Blind and was active in a classical music listening group.
Mullin was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy.
In addition to his daughter, Eve Collier of Camarillo, he is survived by two sons, John C. Mullin of Los Osos and Peter B. Mullin of Huntington Beach; and three grandchildren.
Visitation will be at 7 p.m. tonight at Pierce Bros. Griffin Mortuary in Camarillo.
Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Padre Serra Catholic Church in Camarillo, with Father Kevin McCracken officiating.
Burial will be at Conejo Mountain Memorial Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Pierce Bros. Griffin Mortuary in Camarillo.