The first African-American in space was born in Philadelphia and spent much of his career in the U.S. Air Force as both a fighter pilot and engineer. Bluford flew on four shuttle missions and logged almost 700 hours in space. “Guy” Bluford’s 1978 graduating class of astronauts included two other men of African descent. Fred Gregory got his turn in space in 1985 while Ron McNair died on the tragic Challenger mission of 1986. Bluford remains proud of his historic achievement, although he is often quoted as saying that he thought being number 2 might have been a lot more fun.