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Gordon Cooper’s Signed Copy of Biographies of the “Mercury Seven”
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Official biographies of the “Mercury Seven,” Gordon Cooper, Malcolm S. Carpenter, John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, Walter M. Schirra Jr., Alan B. Shepard Jr., and Donald K. Slayton.

GORDON COOPER JR.. Printed Document Signed. “BIOGRAPHIES / PROJECT MERCURY / ASTRONAUTS,” May 1961, inscribed “My personal copy / Gordon Cooper.” 7 leaves + covers, 8 x 10 ½ in. Three-hole punched on left side; some toning; small holes from being stapled on left side; fine.

Inventory #24308.02       Price: $550

Excerpts from Cooper’s biography

Leroy G. Cooper, Jr., a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, was born March 6, 1927 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds. The 33-year-old astronaut has bue eyes and brown hair. His wife is the former Trudy Olson of Seattle, Washington. The couple has two daughters: Camala K., 12, and Janita L., 10.

His hobbies are flying, photography, woodwork, hunting, fishing and boating.


Historical Background

Cooper told NASA he had a good, stable marriage. In fact, he had been having an affair with a married woman, and his wife Trudy had left him four months earlier. At his request, Trudy agreed to pretend that they were happily married, believing it was in the best interest of their daughters. They divorced in 1971, shortly after he retired from NASA.

Project Mercury(1958-1963) was America’s first human spaceflight program. Initially begun by the U.S. Air Force, the program transferred to the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in 1958. After conducting twenty unmanned flights, Project Mercury culminated with six successful flights by astronauts between 1961 and 1963.Millions of people around the world followed the Mercury missions on radio and television. Its success paved the way for Project Gemini (1961-1966) and the Apollo program (1961-1972).

Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr. (1927-2004) was born in Oklahoma and learned to fly early. After serving in the Marine Corps from 1945 to 1946, he attended the University of Hawaii. In 1947, he married Trudy B. Olson (1927-1994), and they had two children. He joined the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant in June 1949, and transferred to the U.S. Air Force three months later. After service in West Germany and two years of study at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio, he graduated in 1956 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. Cooper served as a test pilot for jet aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base in California. In 1959, he was the youngest of seven astronauts selected for NASA’s Project Mercury. In 1963, Cooper piloted the longest and last Mercury spaceflight, Mercury-Atlas 9. In the 34-hour mission, he became the first American to spend an entire day in space, the first to sleep in space, and the last American to pilot a solo orbital mission. Two years later, he flew as Command Pilot of Gemini 5. He retired from NASA and the Air Force in 1970. Always fascinated by racing cars and boats, Cooper held a variety of positions after his retirement related to those fields and to aerospace and land development.

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