Guion Stewart “Guy” Bluford, Jr. (born November 22, 1942), is an engineer, retired Colonel from the United States Air Force and a former NASA Astronaut. He participated in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992. In 1983, as a member of the crew of the space shuttle Challenger on mission STS-8, Bluford became the first African American in space, and the second person of African ancestry, after the Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez.
Bluford was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Guion (a mechanical engineer) and Lolita (a special education teacher), and graduated from Overbrook High School. He received a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 1964, an M.S. in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in 1974, a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering with a minor in laser physics, again from AFIT, in 1978, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston–Clear Lake in 1987. He married Linda Tull in 1964 and had two sons,Guion III and James.
Bluford attended pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, and received his pilot wings in January 1966. He then went to F-4C combat crew training in Arizona and Florida and was assigned to the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. He flew 144 combat missions, 65 of which were over North Vietnam.