Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1939. He joined the U.S. Navy as a pilot, before joining the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the precursor of NASA, in 1955.
He worked at the NACA Lewis Research Center, in Cleveland, Ohio, which has since been renamed in honor of Armstong: the NASA Glenn Research Center.
Armstrong became an astronaut 1962. He was assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission, which launched on March 16, 1966, and Armstrong performed the first successful docking of two spacevehicles in space.
As commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission for the United States, Armstrong gained the distinction of being the first human to land a spacecraft on the moon and first human to step on its lunar surface. He spoke the famous words upon landing on the Moon: "Houston. Tranquility Base here. The Eagle as landed."
The NASA biography of Neil Astronaut appears at: Neil A. Armstrong: Biography
Upon learning of Armstrong's death NASA administrator Charles Bolden stated, "On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of the Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own." (NASA: NASA Administrator Statement on Neil Armstrong's Death)
Bolden continues, "Besides being one of America's greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation.
He concludes with, "As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong. We mourn the passing of a friend, fellow astronaut and true American hero."
Page two concludes.