NASA Astronaut (former)
Graduated from Venice High School, Venice, California; received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Physics in 1960 and a Master of Arts with distinction in Physics in 1961 from the University of California at Los Angeles; completed a Doctorate in Physics with exception of thesis; Advanced Management Program, Harvard Graduate School of Business, 1974; NASA (Space Sciences and Geology) with 2, 000 hours, 1963-1971.
ORGANIZATIONS: Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Society; Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots; The American Geophysical Union; Explorers Club; Sigma Pi Sigma, and Lifetime Sigma Xi. Chairman of University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Alumni Fund Drive, 1969 and 1970; Chairman, Aviation Sub-committee Houston Chamber of Commerce; Houston-Galveston Area Council; Chairman, Airport Advisory Committee; Advisory Board for the Edward Teller Center; Board of Governors, Houston Center Club and a member of the Houston American Revolution Bicentennial Commission. National Association of Small Business Investment Companies; Chairman, Texas Aerospace Commission; Advisory Board, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (5 years); Founding/Director, Earth Awareness Foundation and A-1 Answering Service of Texas.
SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and NASA Distinguished Service Medal; Navy Astronaut Wings; Co-recipient of the American Institute of Aeronatics and Astronautics (AIAA) Haley Astronautics Award, 1969; presented the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Professional Achievement Award, 1969 and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Special Trustee Award, 1969 (Emmy); The American Legion Medal of Valor, and Outstanding American Award of the American Conservative Union, 1975; Distinguished Service Award, California Newspaper Boy Foundation, 1969; inducted in to the Astronaut Hall of Fame, International Space Hall of Fame, Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame, San Diego Air and Space Museum Hall of Fame, and Houston Hall of Fame; Distinguished Service Award, California Newspaper Boy Foundation; judge for the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, 1984. The 2009 Milton Caniff “Spirit of Flight;” the George P. Haddaway Award; Frontiers of Flight, Dallas; NASA Ambassador of Exploration Award; listed in Who's Who in America, The World, Aviation and other similar publications.
PUBLICATIONS: "Importance of the Observation that Stars Don't Twinkle Outside the Earth's Atmosphere" (with L. Marshall Libby); The All-American Boys (Macmillan, 1977); numerous articles for various magazines, technical journals and newspapers.
EXPERIENCE: Cunningham enlisted in the Navy in 1951 and began his flight training in 1952. In 1953, he took his commission as a 2nd Lt and served on active duty with the United States Marine Corps (USMC), flying 54 missions as a night fighter pilot in Korea. From 1956 through 1975, he served in USMC reserve squadrons. His present rank is Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (retired). He worked as a scientist for the Rand Corporation for three years prior to joining NASA. While with Rand, he worked on classified defense studies and problems of the Earth's magnetosphere. He has accumulated more than 4, 500 hours of flying time in 40 different aircraft, including more than 3, 400 in jet aircraft and 263 hours in space.