Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. was born November 22nd 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Penn State in 1964 studying aerospace engineering he joined the Air Force and served during the Vietnam War. There he flew over 140 combat mission and won medals because that is what you do.
After the war he went to the Air Force Institute of Technology and got a master's degree in aerospace engineering and got a Ph.D in 1978.
That same year he was chosen for N.A.S.A. In August of 1983 Buford became the first Black person to travel into space. He was a mission specialist on the Challenger shuttle and participated in the first night launch. Funny. I've never thought about that before.
He orbited the planet 98 times in 145 hours. That sounds insane. He went on three more space mission, his last two were in 1991 and 1992. He retired in 1993 after spending more than 688 hours in space. I haven't even spent that much time in water! He was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 1997.
Click here for previous Famous Black Firsts.