Fast Facts

Birth name: Edward Higgins White II
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force

Birth date: November 14, 1930
Birth place: San Antonio, Texas
Death date: January 27, 1967
Death place: Cape Kennedy, Florida
Burial location: The United States Military Academy Post Cemetery
West Point Military Academy
Orange County, NY

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 176 lbs.
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Brown

High school: Western High School, Washington, D.C.
College: U.S. Military Academy, University of Michigan
Occupation: Pilot, astronaut
Hobbies: handball, squash, swimming, golf and photography

Parents: Edward White, Sr.
Wife: Patricia Eileen White
Children: Edward III and Bonnie Lynn

Did you know?

  • He logged more than 3,000 hours flying time, including more than 2,200 hours in jet aircraft.
  • White at West Point, he set the 400-meter hurdles record and nearly made the 1952 Olympic team.
  • Attained the rank of lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force.
  • Selected as one of nine, from a pool of 200, to become an astronaut in 1962.
  • During the Gemini 4 flight on June 3, 1965, White performed the first space walk by an American.
  • Spent three years in Germany flying F-86 and F-100 fighter aircraft after his graduation from college.
  • The Museum of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas is dedicated in his memory.
  • Three stars, Navi, Dnoces and Regor were named in honor of the crew. The names are "Ivan," "Second" and "Roger" spelled backwards. Ivan was Grissom's middle name and White was Edward H. White the Second. The crew used the stars to calibrate their equipment and, as a practical joke, recorded the names in official NASA documentation. The names eventually stuck as a posthumous honor.