John (Jack) Loizeaux
The last name comes from the French words "les 'oiseaux" meaning, "the birds." It is pronounced "La-wah-ZO."
Pioneer in Controlled Explosives

John Darby ("Jack") Loizeaux is internationally recognized as the inventor, pioneer and developer of the destruction of building through the controlled use of explosives. His incredible performance record has proven that success in the delicate field of explosives demolition is
  • imagination
  • attention to detail and
  • consistent refinement of the technique.

Born in Towson, Maryland on May 1, 1915, Jack went to Towson primary schools and the Boys Latin School in Baltimore. He received a B.S. degree from the University of Georgia in 1940. He later continued with post-graduate studies in engineering and geology at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. At the University of Georgia, he met and married his wife of 52 years, Freddie Hill Loizeaux who passed away in 1992. They had four children, thirteen grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren.

After working at other jobs, Mr. Loizeaux started his own company and developed new drilling and blasting techniques. He believed that buildings could be demolished safelywithout destroying the buildings around them and without injuring workers. Through experiments, he steadily moved toward the demolition techniques for which he was later known. He changed the company name from Burnbrae to Controlled Demolition Incorporated (CDI) in 1960, because that name better told what the company did. He preferred the term implosion (in which the the building fell in on itself) to explosion (where material from the building was thrown out from the building site), because he felt it more accurately described what happened: the toppling of high-rise buildings through the controlled use of explosives. The implosion of buildings became a universally accepted means of demolition. He received many national and international awards as a result of his explosives demolition innovations. His two sons, Mark and Doug, now head the company.

After he retired in 1980, Mr. Loizeaux lectured on many topics. He was committed to his family and friends and spent much of his free time in later years working with people who were not well. He was involved over the years with Young Life, Central and Mt. Washington Presbyterian Churches and the Loch Hill Chapel. He was also contributed to the work of his twin sister, Eleanor Johnson, who is a missionary in Burundi, Africa.

He was a sportsman who enjoyed sailing, biking and tennis and was an avid lacrosse fan. He died in 2000.

Recent Projects You May Know About
Project Name Location Year
Augusta Tower @ The Desert Inn Las Vegas, NV 2001
Market Square Arena Indianapolis, IN 2001
Gettysburg National Tower Gettysburg, PA 2000
Kingdome Seattle, WA 2000
El Rancho Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, NV 2000
Broadway Homes Baltimore, MD 2000
Murphy Homes Baltimore, MD 1999
Aladdin Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, NV 1998
J.L. Hudson's Department Store (World Record!) Detroit, MI 1998
Omega Tower (World Record!) Trelew, Argentina 1998
Villa Panamericanas Complex (World Record!) San Juan, PR 1998
Dr. Pepper Factory (seen in the movie Enemy of The State) Baltimore, MD 1997
Sands Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, NV 1996
Hacienda Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, NV 1996
Lexington Terrace Homes Baltimore, MD 1996
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Oklahoma City, OK 1995
Landmark Hotel & Casino (seen in the movie Mars Attacks) Las Vegas, NV 1995
Lafayette Courts Baltimore, MD 1995
Dunes Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Nv 1993
DWP Building (seen in the movie Demolition Man) Los Angeles, CA 1993
Orlando City Hall (seen in the movie Lethal Weapon 3) Orlando, FL 1991

Related Links
Thank you to Luke DiPaola for suggesting his great-grandfather for our Famous People list and
to his cousin, Stacey Loizeaux, for supplying the information.

Copyright October 8, 2002, Office of the Secretary of State.
Last Modified September 16, 2003.