During his 82 years of existence on earth, Neil Armstrong served in different capacities at different points in his life. First, he achieved his childhood dreams of becoming a pilot in record time and went on to serve in the US Navy. He later became an astronaut and aeronautics engineer with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and upon his retirement from NASA, he took up a teaching position at the University of Cincinnati.
Armstrong had his name firmly etched in the history books by becoming the first human to walk on the Moon, a feat which he achieved on the famous Apollo 11 mission. He was 39 years of age when he achieved this momentous feat in 1969. This fellow was honored with several prestigious awards for his service to mankind including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
Neil Armstrong Biography
Neil Alden Armstrong was born in 1930 on the 5th of August in the city of Wapakoneta, Ohio. He was the first of his parents’ three children. His father served the Ohio state government as an auditor and consequently, the family resided in different parts of the states at different times, living in as many as 16 towns in 14 years. For Armstrong, who had already developed an interest in flying at the tender age of 2, the frequent travels got him even more fascinated with flying.
The family eventually settled back at his birth city of Wapakoneta when he was a teenager and there, he attended Blume High School and equally took flying lessons at the Wapakoneta airfield. He received his student flight certificate on the day he turned 16. The following year, 17-year old Armstrong enrolled at Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering and his college education was funded by the U.S. Navy under the famous “Holloway Plan”. As part of the requirements of the plan, he underwent 2 years of flight training after his first 2 years of college. He became a naval aviator at the age of 20 after which he served 2 years (1950-52) in the U.S. Navy before returning to Purdue University to complete his bachelor’s degree. He graduated in 1955 with a B.Sc. degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Neil Armstrong was among the nine astronauts commissioned by NASA in September 1962. This marked the beginning of a highly successful career during which he recorded several one-of-a-kind accomplishments. In March 1966, he made his first journey into space when he commanded the Gemini 8 spaceflight. By so doing, he became the second civilian astronaut to fly into space after Joe Walker who had done that in 1963. The high point of Armstrong’s career came in July 1969 when he led the Apollo 11 mission and also became the first man to walk on the moon alongside his crewmate Buzz Aldrin. Armstrong’s historic first step on the surface of the moon was broadcast on live TV to a global audience.
After retiring from NASA in 1971, Neil Armstrong took up a teaching position at the Department of Aerospace Engineering of the University of Cincinnati and he served in that role until 1979. He equally served as a spokesman for several business corporations, particularly automobile giants Chrysler. Among other later services to the US government, he was appointed to the Rogers Commission which investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster of January 1986. Armstrong also served on the National Commission on Space set up by then-US President Ronald Reagan to develop a plan for American civilian spaceflight in the future.
His Wife and Children (Daughter)
Neil Armstrong was married for 38 years to Janet Elizabeth Shearon, his college sweetheart. As revealed by the two, their relationship was largely undefined at the beginning as they had no proper courtship nor did they have a definite engagement. They tied the knot on January 28, 1956, at the Congregational Church in Wilmette, Illinois.
The couple had 3 children together. Their first son Eric was born in 1957, their second son Mark was born in 1963 and their only daughter Karen was born in 1959. Their union ended in divorce in 1994.
Following his divorce from Janet Shearon, Neil Armstrong got married to Carol Held Knight. They remained inseparable until Armstrong’s death on August 25, 2012.
Is He Related To Karen Armstrong?
Karen Armstrong was the name of Neil Amstrong’s only daughter. Sadly, she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in June 1961 when she was just 2 years of age. She received X-ray treatment to suppress the tumor but this adversely affected her health. She eventually died of pneumonia as a result of her weakened immunity on January 28, 1962.
There is also a more popular Karen Armstrong who is a renowned writer from Britain. However, she is not related to Neil Armstrong in any way.