Dr. Sally Ride died on Monday, July 24, 2012, at her home in La Jolla, California, a community within San Diego. The cause of her death was pancreatic cancer.
Ride flew into space on the NASA space shuttle Challenger for the first time on June 18, 1983, when she was 32 years of age.
Upon her death, President Barack Obama stated, "Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model. She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars."
Since her first trip into space 42 American women have gone into space.
NASA administrator Charles Bolden added, "Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism -- and literally changed the face of America's space program. The nation has lost one of its finest leaders, teachers and explorers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sally's family and the many she inspired. She will be missed, but her star will always shine brightly."
NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver stated, "Sally was a personal and professional role model to me and thousands of women around the world. Her spirit and determination will continue to be an inspiration for women everywhere."
For additional information on the death of Sally Ride, please read the 7/24/12 Associated Press article "Sally Ride, 61, dies of cancer."
The NASA biography of Sally Ride also includes further information on her career at NASA, at the University of California, and her company Sally Ride Science, which also offers information on the life of its founder.