Buzz Aldrin

Active - 1976 - 2019  |   Born - Jan 20, 1930 in Montclair, New Jersey, United States  |   Genres - Culture & Society, Science & Technology, Sports & Recreation, Film, TV & Radio, Nature

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Biography by Cammila Collar

One of the most indelible American icons of the 20th century, astronaut, mechanical engineer, and pilot on the Lunar Module Apollo 11 mission Buzz Aldrin became a famous name in 1969 when he was the second man to set foot on the moon, right behind his mission commander Neil Armstrong. By the time Aldrin joined NASA in 1963, he was a graduate of West Point, a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force, and a veteran of the Korean War. In the years following his mission to the moon, Aldrin continued to support space exploration, frequently appearing to advocate science- and aeronautics-related causes. In 2010, it was announced that the 80-year-old Aldrin would be joining the competition on the popular reality series Dancing with the Stars. The octogenarian actor also played a cameo of himself in Michael Bay's 2011 action thriller Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon.

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  • Mother's maiden name was Marion Moon.
  • Played center on the 1946 Montclair High School football team, which won the New Jersey State Championship.
  • Got the nickname "buzzer" from one of his sisters as a child; legally changed his first name to Buzz in 1988.
  • Flew 66 combat missions during the Korean War.
  • Logged nearly 300 hours in space, including more than two hours on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969.
  • Has written a number of books, including multiple novels, autobiographies, children's books and a nonfiction account of the Apollo 11 mission.
  • Recorded a humorous rap song titled "Rocket Experience" in 2009.
  • The second oldest person---after actor Cloris Leachman---to compete on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
  • Holds three patents for rocket and spacecraft schematics.