Neil Alden Armstrong, the man who made the phrase “”one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” has died today at the age of 81. Born in Ohio on August 5 1930, Armstrong had a passion for aeronautics that lasted all throughout his life. Interestingly enough, by the age of 16 he was able to fly an airplane before he could drive a standard motor vehicle.
Armstrong distinguished himself as a flyer of Navy fighter planes in the Korean War, and served as a test pilot for the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, the predecessor to NASA.
He achieved astronaut status by being one of two men to first set foot on the moon. His famous phrase, “One Small Step” has become a historical marker, and has been referred to in countless science fiction and fact texts.
After his retirement from NASA in 1971, Armstrong became a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati for nearly a decade and served on the boards of several corporations, including Lear Jet, United Airlines and Marathon Oil.
Mr. Armstrong also served as deputy associate administrator for aeronautics at NASA headquarters, coordinating and managing the space agency’s aeronautics research and technology research.
Read a detailed memorial to this great man at the BBC’s website, and follow the Brittish Broadcasting Corporation on Twitter @BBCWorld.