Jeff Tracy (born 2 January 1970/2009; 56 years old) is a former military man, astronaut and founder-and-CEO (now retired) of the Tracy Aerospace Corporation (aka Tracy Technologies).
He is also - unknown to the world - the founder and commander-in-chief of the top-secret lifesaving organization International Rescue.
His story, and that of his family, lies at the heart of the British television series Thunderbirds.
The son of a Kansas wheat farmer and his wife, Jeff developed an early interest in machinery such as his father used on their family farm. After graduating from the US Air Force Academy in Colorado, the now-Colonel Tracy met and married the love of his life, Lucy, a talented artist and musician; and, by the time he'd transferred to the astronaut corps - where he gained the distinction of being one of the first men to land on the Moon - they'd begun their life as a family.
Tragedy, though, struck - and changed the entire destiny of the Tracy clan. Lucy's sudden, untimely death left Jeff - now a widower - with five young sons to raise. He reluctantly had to leave his space career, which he loved, behind and - with his mother's assistance in looking after his boys - Jeff then went into construction engineering, which over many years made him one of the richest men in the world.
But the loss of his wife haunted him still. With their boys now grown, and embarking on lives and careers of their own, he resolved that - somehow - he'd see to it that no other family would have to endure the shock and grief that his own had suffered. This, along with his continuing interest in the constant advances in technology, would combine into the vision that yielded the birth of International Rescue.
From Tracy Island, in the South Pacific - which he bought, ostensibly, to retire to after stepping down from his namesake aerospace firm - Jeff, his sons and their genius friend known only as "Brains" created, hidden from the world beyond the island's sumptuous tropical facade, the secret base of his new life's endeavor: laboratories brimming with technological gadgetry of all sizes and shapes...and enormous hangars housing four unique one-of-a-kind vehicles - each far-and-away beyond anything else like it in existence - with which his sons (specialists in their own right) could reach any destination where no one else could help save those who were in danger.
These - along with their sister-ship, a space station constantly listening from Earth orbit for distress calls - were called the Thunderbirds!
Jeff brings the mental discipline and canny acumen acquired over his many years of experience as an Air Force pilot, astronaut and head of a Fortune 500-level corporation, to his new role as leader of International Rescue. He keeps cool, calm and collected at all times, preferring to think his way through situations in order to solve them. He's not one to make hasty decisions, or to act on impulse; he doesn't "go off half-cocked."
At heart, he a kind and considerate person, still very much involved with humanity. He loves his five boys and is a firm, yet fair, father to them.
When a call for International Rescue's assistance arrives at Tracy Island, via the space monitor Thunderbird 5, it is Jeff who makes the initial decisions as to which of the island-based Thunderbird machines, crew and equipment will be dispatched. And when the proverbial "going gets tough," as it often does, he'll "circle the room" for ideas and advice from whoever offers it - even his mother, Grandma Tracy, who once saved a rescue at a crucial moment by providing the very information her grandsons needed to save the day!
All that said, however, Jeff is also something of a "workaholic" and doesn't take the time-off he needs. His family recognizes this in him - even if he apparently can't - and finds that persuading him to take that time-off, for his own good, is no easy task!
Jeff is said to have been modelled on Canadian-born actor Lorne Greene, who played frontier-family patriarch Ben Cartwright in the long-running American TV Western Bonanza.
- Throughout Thunderbirds' tenure - the TV series and the two feature films, Thunderbirds are Go and Thunderbird 6 - Jeff is voiced by Peter Dyneley, who also provided the series' famous "countdown" sequence that began every episode: "5! 4! 3! 2! 1! Thunderbirds Are GO!"
Jeff Tracy on Thunderbirds Wiki: http://thunderbirds.fandom.com/wiki/Jeff_Tracy