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William A. Anders was born October 17, 1933, in Hong Kong. He attended schools in San Diego County, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1955. After pilot training, he graduated from Harvard University. He was selected by NASA in 1963 for training for the Apollo program.
On December 21, 1968, Anders, Lovell, and Borman became the first men to leave Earth's gravity and orbit the Moon. Apollo 8 gave us our first close-up view of the lunar surface and of the Moon's backside. Most significantly, Apollo 8 confirmed the technology that permitted succeeding crews to land on the Moon.
In 1969, Anders served as back-up lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, the first lunar landing. He thereafter left NASA to serve in a number of prestigious public and corporate appointments including Ambassador to Norway and vice chairman, General Dynamics Corporation.
Invested 1990 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame
We would like to thank the Heritage Flight Museum for allowing us to use this photograph of Maj. Gen. William Anders (Ret.)
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Updated: September 29, 2005