The second American in space, who later died in the Apollo I fire. He was awarded a Congressional Space Medal of Honor posthumously.
He was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, and one of the original seven Right Stuff astronauts.
He and Alan Shepard were part of the Mercury Seven, a team of NASA's first astronauts.
He was a Boy Scout, as well as newspaper boy and meat market worker.
He married Betty Moore on July 6, 1945 while on military leave.