One of three astronauts inducted into the South Carolina Hall Of Fame, Charles Bolden, Jr. flew on four space shuttle missions while an astronaut, and in 2009 was appointed by President Obama to be the Chief Administrator of NASA.
Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Mr. Bolden graduated from C.A. Johnson High School and earned a BS in Electrical Science from the United States Naval Academy. He entered the United States Marines Corps and flew more than 100 sorties during the Vietnam War from 1972 to 1973. After earning a Master of Science in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1977 he became a test pilot and eventually selected as an astronaut in 1980.
A veteran of four space flights, he has logged over 680 hours in space. Mr. Bolden piloted the space shuttle Columbia during STS-61-C in 1986 and the Discovery during STS-31 in 1990. He was the shuttle commander for STS-45 on board the space shuttle Atlantis in 1992 and STS-60 on the Discovery with the historic first joint-American/Russian Space Shuttle Mission in 1994. Returning to active duty with the Marine Corps he served in commanding positions during operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait and the United States Forces Japan.
In 2009, President Obama appointed Bolden to be Chief Administrator of NASA, the first African-American to head the agency on a permanent basis.