Walter Cunningham - Updated Jul 2024

Updated On June 3, 2024
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Walter Cunningham

Walter Cunningham is a late American astronaut, fighter pilot, physicist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and author. Walter Cunningham is NASA’s third civilian astronaut (after Neil Armstrong and Elliot See) and was a lunar module pilot on the Apollo 7 mission in 1968.

Early Life

On the 16th of March 1932, Walter Cunningham opened his eyes to the world in Creston, Iowa, the United States of America. At the age of 90, he passed away and was an American by nationality. He has the Pisces zodiac sign and his ethnic background, and religious beliefs, are still unknown at the moment.

In addition, he was raised in Iowa with his sister Cathy Cunningham. There is no proper information available regarding his family. Moreover, he is the son of Walter W. Cunningham (father) and his mother’s name is unknown at the moment.


On the 3rd of January 2023, he died in Houston at age 90, from complications resulting from a fall.

Education and Military Career

Talking about his academic qualification, Walter Cunningham went to Venice High School in Los Angeles, California, and completedhis high school graduation in the year 1950. Later, he went to study at Santa Monica College until joining the U.S. Navy in 1951.

In 1952, he began flight training and served on active duty as a fighter pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 until 1956, flying 54 missions as a night fighter pilot in Korea. Armistice discussions were still ongoing when he left for Korea, and the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed just before he arrived. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1956 to 1075 and retired at the rank of colonel.

Later, he resumed his studies at Santa Monica College before transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1958. In the year 1960, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree and his Master of Arts degree with distinction in 1961, both in physics, from UCLA.

During his three years at RAND Corporation before his NASA selection, he completed all requirements for Doctor of Philosophy degree in physics at UCLA, edissentthe dissertation.

Professional Career

NASA Career

Before joining NASA, Cunningham served as a fighter pilot in the United States Marine Corps, where he logged over 4,500 hours of flying time. He was selected as part of the third group of astronauts by NASA in October 1963. Before joining NASA, he served as a fighter pilot in the United States Marine Corps, where he logged over 4,500 hours of flying time.

Walter Cunningham

Caption: Walter Cunningham and his two astronaut friends are ready for the Apollo 7 mission in 1968 (Source: The Guardian)

His only spaceflight was on Apollo 7, which was the first manned mission of the Apollo program. The mission launched on October 11, 1968, and lasted for 11 days. Cunningham served as the lunar module pilot on the mission, which was primarily a test of the spacecraft’s systems in low Earth orbit.

Post Career

He attended Harvard Business School’s six-week Advanced Management Program in the year 1974 and later worked as a businessman severalr in several private ventures. In the year 1977 published a book about his experiences with NASA called “The All-American Boys.” He joined Back to Space as an Astronaut Consultant in 201being intospire the next generation to go to Mars.

Moreover, Cunningham was a radio talk-show host and public speaker, worked as a consultant to start-up technology companies, and was chairman of the Texas Aerospace Commission.


During his professional career, Cunningham has won numerous national and international honors. “NASA Distinguished Service Medal”, “NASA Exceptional Service Medal”, “AIAA Haley Astronautics Award” (1969), “UCLA Professional Achievement Award” (1969), “George Haddaway Award” (2000), “National Aviation Hall of Fame” (2018), and “International Space Hall of Fame” (1983) are some of his honors and awards.

Walter Cunningham – Net Worth 2024

At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated around $1 million to $5 million. He makes money through his astronaut, fighter pilot, physicist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and author profession.

Relationship Status

Talking about his marital relationship, Walter Cunningham was married twice in his life. Firstly, he was married to his wife Lo Ella. In addition, the couple has two kids whose names are Brian and Kimberley. Later, his sister and his children, he was survived by his second wife, retired Houston businesswoman Dorothy “Dot” Cunningham.

Meanwhile, he was not involved in any kind of controversy or scandal till the time of his death. He had maintained a low profile and clean image til the time of his death.

Body Measurements

Walter Cunningham

Caption: Walter Cunningham along with his friends posing for a photo (Source: New York Post)

Walter Cunningham stands 5 feet 10 inches tall (1.77 m) and weighs an average. He has salt-pepper hair withmeasurementsolor and his other body measurement are still a mystery.

Social Media

This American astronaut is no more in this world. Due to this, we can say that this astronaut is not active on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.