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Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 6 March 1927Shawnee, Oklahoma, USA
Date of Death 4 October 2004Ventura, California, USA  (heart failure)
Birth NameLeroy Gordon Cooper Jr.
Nicknames Gordo
The Oklahoma Hotdog
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Gordon Cooper was born on March 6, 1927 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, USA as Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr. He was married to Susan Taylor and Trudy B. Olson. He died on October 4, 2004 in Ventura, California, USA.

Spouse (2)

Susan Taylor (6 May 1972 - 4 October 2004) (his death) (2 children)
Trudy B. Olson (29 August 1947 - 1971) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (13)

Authored the 2000 book "Leap of Faith," in which he discussed NASA's early days, his experiences on the Mercury and Gemini missions and his belief in extraterrestrial intelligence. Said in the book that as an Air Force pilot in 1951 he chased UFOs while based in Germany.
Awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in May 1963 by President John F. Kennedy.
Cooper gave his signature line during a 1995 reunion of surviving Mercury astronauts. When asked who was the greatest fighter pilot he ever saw, Cooper enthusiastically answered, "You're looking at him!"
Earned a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1956. Was selected as a Mercury astronaut in April 1959.
Was the youngest member of the original seven Mercury astronauts, and the last astronaut to take flight during NASA's pioneering Mercury program. Circled the globe 22 times in 34 hours and 20 minutes, and was the first astronaut in a space flight of more than 24 hours. He was also the first astronaut to sleep in space, and the first man to launch a satellite in space. He was the last astronaut to orbit Earth alone.
Was a member of NASA's Mercury 7 project, introduced in April 9, 1959, only six months after the agency was established (together with Wally Schirra, Deke Slayton, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom).
Was the only one of the original 7 Mercury astronauts that was not a combat veteran.
He named his Mercury spacecraft "Faith 7".
Flew as command pilot on Gemini 5 with 'Charles 'Pete' Conrad (I)' for eight days testing human endurance in space, docking procedures and a new electrical system that utilized fuel cells.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 97-99. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990.
Partner in the GCR Corporation racing team that competed in the USAC Series in 1966 and 1967. The "G" represented Gus Grissom, the "C" represented Cooper, and the "R" represented Jim Rathmann.
Was a member of NASA's Mercury 7 project, introduced in April 9, 1959, only six months after the agency was established (together with Wally Schirra, Deke Slayton, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom).

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