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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 ...

Article

Roger D. Launius

Brown, Jesse Leroy (13 October 1926–04 December 1950), naval aviator, was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the son of John Brown, a farmer. His mother’s name is not known. From the time he was a small boy, Brown was interested in flying: at the sight of an airplane flying above, he turned to a friend and said, “Some day I’m going to fly one of those” (Weems, p. 36). He held fast to his dream. He studied hard at the all-black Eureka High School, and his principal, recognizing that the school did not prepare students well for college, taught Brown and other promising students more advanced subjects. He was also an excellent athlete, participating in basketball and track and playing halfback on Eureka’s state championship football team.

These preparations and Brown s determination enabled him to enroll in Ohio State University in 1944 In 1946 he entered the ...

Article

Theodore Taylor

Jesse Leroy Brown 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 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 kerosene lamp late ...

Article

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 ...