United States Astronaut. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he entered active duty in the US Air Force in 1969 and was assigned to the Space Division in El Segundo, California. As a Communications Payload Engineer officer, he worked on advanced tactical communications satellites. After his discharge from the Air Force, he served in various spacecraft test and systems applications, joining NASA as the Spacecraft Bus System Assistant Spacecraft System Engineering Manager in 1982. On January 28, 1986, while serving as Payload Specialist and Astronaut on the Space Challenger, launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, he lost his life with the rest of the crew when the craft exploded after launch. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. After his remains were recovered and identified, they were cremated, and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean. The family erected a cenotaph for him in their plot in Mohawk Cemetery. Another cenotaph was placed for him in Arlington National Cemetery.