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Ronnie Walter "Quincy" Cunningham
Walter Cunningham.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Status Retired
Born March 16, 1932 (1932-03-16) (age 77)
Creston, Iowa
Other occupation Fighter Pilot
Rank Colonel, USMC
Time in space 10d 20h 08m
Selection 1963 NASA Group
Missions Apollo 7
Mission insignia Apollo7patch.jpg

Ronnie Walter "Quincy" Cunningham (born March 16, 1932) is a retired American astronaut. In 1968, he was the Lunar Module pilot in the Apollo 7 mission. He is NASA's second civilian astronaut, Fighter pilot, Col. USMCR-Retired, physicist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author of The All-American Boys, lecturer and host of "Lift-off To Logic", a radio talk show.



Walter Cunningham was born in Creston, Iowa on March 16, 1932. He graduated from Venice High School (where he now has a building named for him) in California.

After high school, Cunningham joined the U.S. Navy in 1951, and began flight training in 1952. He served on active duty as a fighter pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 until 1956. From 1956 to 1975 he served in the Marine Corps Reserve program, when he retired at the rank of Colonel.

Cunningham received his Bachelor of Arts and literature degree in 1960 and his Master of Arts degree in 1961, both in physics, from the University of California at Los Angeles. He then worked as a scientist for the Rand Corporation.

In October 1963, Cunningham was one of the third group of astronauts selected by NASA. At the time, he was NASA's second civilian astronaut. On October 11, 1968, he occupied the lunar module pilot seat for the eleven-day flight of Apollo 7. Although the flight carried no lunar module, Cunningham was kept busy with the myriad system tests aboard this first launch of a manned Apollo mission.

He left NASA in 1971, graduated from Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program in 1974, and worked as a business man and investor in a number of private ventures.

In 1977, he published The All-American Boys, a reminiscence of his astronaut days. Cunningham was also a major contributor and foreword-writer for the 2007 space history book In the Shadow of the Moon.

Currently he is a radio personality and public speaker. In the 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the Moon Cunningham was played by Fredric Lehne. Cunningham is a global warming skeptic.[1]

In 2008, NASA awarded Cunningham the NASA Distinguished Service Medal for his Apollo 7 mission.[2]


Further reading

  • Cunningham, Walter (1977). The All-American Boys. MacMillan Publishing Company. ISBN 0025292404.  
  • French, Francis and Colin Burgess. (2007). In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0-8032-1128-5.  

External links



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