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Donald D. Engen. Photograph by Carolyn Russo. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution (#99-15320).

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Engen, Donald Davenport (28 May 1924–13 July 1999), naval officer, test pilot, public servant, was born in Pomona, California, the son of Sydney M. Engen, a stockbroker and later an Internal Revenue Service employee, and Dorothy Davenport Engen. Engen spent his childhood years in southern California, principally in Pasadena. When he was in fourth grade, he decided that he wanted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and become a naval officer....

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Glenn, John (18 July 1921–8 Dec. 2016), aviator, astronaut, and United States Senator, was born John Herschel Glenn, Jr. in Cambridge, Ohio, the son of John Herschel Glenn, Sr. and Clara Sproat Glenn. The couple subsequently adopted a daughter, Jean. The family moved to New Concord, Ohio shortly after John’s birth where the father established a local plumbing company. Glenn attended local schools, graduating from New Concord High School in ...

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Wright, Theodore Paul (25 May 1895–21 August 1970), aviation administrator and educator, was born in Galesburg, Illinois, the son of Philip Green Wright, a college professor, and Elizabeth Quincy. Wright grew up in a financially secure family; his father taught mathematics at Galesburg’s Lombard College and imbued his sons with a sense of social duty. Wright’s two older brothers excelled in their professions, ...