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Read articles and learn more about the Cincinnati Chamber through our related news articles

Cincinnati Chamber Announces Liz Keating as VP of Government Affairs and Advocacy
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Recognize & Celebrate businesses & people

Great Living Cincinnatians: Honorees

Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.

Neil A. Armstrong

Awarded In 1986
1930 – 2012

Neil Armstrong was best known as the first man to set foot on the moon. A crater near the site where Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969 is named in Mr. Armstrong’s honor.

Mr. Armstrong was born August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio. He received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.

Armstrong distinguished himself during the Korean War where he flew 78 combat missions. Following the war, he became a test pilot at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) flight research center at Edwards, California. He was a project pilot on many pioneering, high-speed aircraft, including the X-15.

Armstrong transferred to astronaut status in 1962 and made his first flight aboard the Gemini 8 performing the first successful docking of two vehicles in space. His next trip into space was as spacecraft commander for the historic Apollo 11 mission which culminated in a moon landing on July 20, 1969. Standing on lunar surface: he said his most quoted phrase: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Following the flight, Armstrong returned to NASA as the deputy associate administrator of aeronautics in Washington charged with coordination and management of NASA research and technology.

From 1971 until January 1980, when he joined Cardwell International, Ltd., Armstrong was professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, and later as an adjunct faculty member.

He was a fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Royal Aeronautical Society, as well as honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Armstrong served as a director of the Gates Learjet Corporation, the Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company, The Fifth Third Bank of Cincinnati, Taft Broadcasting Company and the Marathon Oil Company.

The former astronaut was decorated by the governments of 17 countries and also received the Presidential Medal for Freedom, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Explorers Club Medal, the U.S. Military Academy’s Sylvanus Thayer Award, the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Gold Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Royal Geographic Society’s Gold Medal and a number of other awards.

In a 2001 NASA oral history project, Mr. Armstrong said, “Looking back, we were really very privileged to live in that thin slice of history where we changed how man looks at himself, and what he might become, and where he might go, so I’m very thankful.”

Neil Armstrong died August 25, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio, from complications from coronary surgery. He was 82.

Nominate a Great Living Cincinnatian

Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization