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Josepha Sherman

astronaut, test pilot, military and NASA Administrator, was born in Columbia, South Carolina, to Charles Frank Bolden Sr. and Ethel M. Bolden, both teachers. A child during the early years of the civil rights movement, Bolden was encouraged by his parents and teachers to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot, despite the fact that there were few opportunities at the time for African Americans to fly.

After graduating with honors from C. A. Johnson High School in Columbia in 1964, Bolden entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; he graduated with a BS in Electrical Science in 1968. Following graduation he married Alexis (Jackie) Walker. The couple would later have a son Anthony, born in 1971 and a daughter, Kelly, born in 1976.

In 1968 Bolden accepted a commission in the Marine Corps Quickly rising to the rank of second ...


Theodore Taylor

the first black U.S. Navy pilot, was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the son of John Brown, a sharecropper, and Julia Lindsey, a schoolteacher. The family worked from sunup to sundown and lived in a typical, unpainted, pine-board house with one story and a tin roof. Behind the house were a well, an outhouse, chicken and hog pens, and a vegetable garden. John Brown was a deacon in the Baptist church, where the family worshiped each Sunday.

Young Jesse fell in love with flying at age six, when his father took him to an air show, and he marveled at the white wing walkers, parachute jumpers, and acrobatic tricks performed by the pilots of the biwinged aircraft. His father didn't have the two dollars to let his son ride in a cockpit that day, but by the time he was seven Jesse was reading Popular Aviation magazine by ...