Dead, Neil Alden Armstrong on August 25, 2012, he was an American astronaut and the first person to walk on the Moon.
Born on August 5, 1930, to Stephen Koenig Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel in Auglaize County, near Wapakoneta, Ohio.
He was of Scottish, Irish, and German ancestry, and had two younger siblings, June and Dean.
Stephen Armstrong worked as an auditorfor the Ohio state government; the family moved around the state repeatedly after Armstrong’s birth, living in 20 towns.
Neil’s love for flying grew during this time, having gotten off to an early start when his father took his two-year-old son to the Cleveland Air Races.
Armstrong attended Blume High School and took flying lessons at the grassy Wapakoneta airfield.
He earned a student flight certificate on his 16th birthday, then soloed later in August; all before he had a driver’s license. Armstrong was active in the Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
As an adult, he was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with its Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Buffalo Award.
On July 18, 1969, while flying towards the Moon inside the Columbia, Armstrong greeted the Scouts: “I’d like to say hello to all my fellow Scouts and Scouters at Farragut State Park in Idaho having a National Jamboree there this week; and Apollo 11 would like to send them best wishes”.
Armstrong’s call-up from the Navy arrived on January 26, 1949, requiring him to report to Naval Air Station Pensacola for flight training at age 18.
This lasted almost 18 months, during which he qualified for carrier landing aboard the USS Cabot and USS Wright.
Following his graduation from Purdue, Armstrong decided to become an experimental research test pilot.
He applied at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) High-Speed Flight Station at Edwards Air Force Base.
Although the committee had no open positions, it forwarded his application to the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory in Cleveland, where Armstrong began working in March 1955.
Armstrong’s stint at Cleveland lasted a couple of months, and by July 1955 he had returned to Edwards AFB for a new job.
In 1958, Armstrong had been selected for the U.S. Air Force’s Man In Space Soonest program.
In November 1960, he was chosen as part of the pilot consultant group for the X-20 Dyna-Soar, a military space plane under development by Boeing for the U.S. Air Force, and on March 15, 1962, he was selected by the U.S. Air Force as one of seven pilot-engineers who would fly the space plane when it got off the design board.
He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco.
He served as a member of the National Commission on Space (1985-1986), as Vice-Chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident (1986), and as Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Peace Corps (1971-1973).
Despite being one of the most famous astronauts in history, Armstrong has largely shied away from the public eye.
He gave a rare interview to the news program 60 Minutes in 2006.
He described the moon to interviewer Ed Bradley, saying “It’s a brilliant surface in that sunlight.