91ºF

Astronaut John Young, who grew up in Orlando, dies at 87

Young died following complications from pneumonia, officials say

ORLANDO, Fla. – Astronaut John Young, whose name is honored throughout areas of Orlando, died Friday night at 87, according to NASA.

The space agency said Young died following complications from pneumonia.

NASA said Young was the only agency astronaut to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs, and the first to fly into space six times. He was the ninth man to walk on the moon.

The astronaut, who was born in San Francisco and moved to Orlando when he was only 18 months old, had flight experience that spanned five decades, according to Orange County Public Schools officials.

Young was perhaps "the most well-traveled Orange County Public Schools alumnus of all time," according to OCPS' website.

He attended Princeton Elementary School and graduated from Orlando High School, now known as

photo

Howard Middle School, in 1948.

His name can be seen outside his childhood home in College Park and by Central Floridians traveling State Road 423, which is named John Young Parkway in his honor, the website said. An elementary school in Orange County is also named after Young.

photo

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer recognized the impact Young had on the city in a tweet posted Saturday afternoon.

NASA officials also offered their condolences on Twitter:

"Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer. Astronaut John Young's storied career spanned three generations of spaceflight; we will stand on his shoulders as we look toward the next human frontier," acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. "John was one of that group of early space pioneers whose bravery and commitment sparked our nation's first great achievements in space. But, not content with that, his hands-on contributions continued long after the last of his six spaceflights -- a world record at the time of his retirement from the cockpit."

Click here to read the rest of Lightfoot's statement.

Young died at home in Houston.

Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


About the Author: