Welcome to American National Biography Online
The life of a nation is told by the lives of its people
- Over 19,000 biographies of significant, influential or notorious figures from American history written by prominent scholars
- Life of the day now available as an email to your inbox or by RSS feed
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This update includes four new essays, with a focus on astronauts. Highlights include Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, and who later served in the U.S. Senate; and two of Glenn’s fellow members of the Mercury Seven: Scott Carpenter and Wally Schirra. In addition, we have unlocked the many astronaut biographies already included in the ANB.
Sally Ride (1951-2012) made history in 1983 by becoming the first American woman in space. After her second voyage the following year, she took a lead role in NASA, investigating the 1986 Challenger explosion, suggesting policy agendas, and serving on the board investigating the Columbia explosion in 2003. An American icon, she also founded Sally Ride Science to inspire young girls to follow her footsteps into science and technological fields.