Born Mar. 16, 1932, in Creston, Iowa. Astronaut of the USA.
In 1951, Cunningham began his service in the US Navy, where he was trained as a pilot. He later left active military service but remained in the Marine Corps reserves with the rank of major. In 1960 he graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a major in physics. In 1961 he received a master’s degree in physics at UCLA and subsequently a doctorate. He worked for an industrial corporation, where he studied the problem of defense against ballistic rockets launched from submarines and also problems of the earth’s magnetism. In 1963, Cunningham became an astronaut for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Together with W. Schirra, Jr. and D. Eisele he completed a space flight from Oct. 11 to Oct. 22, 1968, on the Apollo 7, which made 163 revolutions around the earth. This was the first test flight of the command module of the Apollo spacecraft.