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Hansen, James R.



  • Existence: June 12, 1952 -

Biographical Information

James R. Hansen is an Auburn University Professor Emeritus of History and the author of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, the first and only authorized biography of the NASA astronaut famous for successfully commanding the first lunar landing mission. Professor Hansen has documented the history of aviation and space flight throughout his career, winning the History Book Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for From the Ground Up: The Autiobiography of an Aeronautical Engineer. His 1995 book, Spaceflight Revolution, is the only book to be nominated by NASA for a Pulitzer Prize.

Hansen has served on a number of boards and commissions, such as the Editorial Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Institute Press, the Advisory Borad for the Archives of Aerospace Exploration at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and has been vice-president of the Virginia Air and Space Museum.


James R. Hansen. Auburn University Department of History. Accessed May 22, 2020.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

James Hansen papers on Neil Armstrong, addition 1

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2023-101

James R. Hansen papers on Neil Armstrong

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 183
Scope and Contents The James R. Hansen Papers on Neil Armstrong comprise the materials used to write First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, the only official biography of Armstrong. A Professor of History at Auburn University, James Hansen was authorized by Armstrong to write the biography in 2002. Between 2002 and 2004, Hansen compiled the materials presented here in preparation for the book's publication. Interviews conducted with Armstrong's primary professional and personal...
Dates: 1955-2011; Other: Majority of material found in 2002-2005; Other: Date acquired: 09/12/2011