Guion “Guy” Bluford, Jr. (born November 22, 1942) is a retired Colonel, from the United States Air Force and a former NASA Astronaut. He participated in four flights of Space Shuttle 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. (the first person of African ancestry in space was the Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez.) In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Bluford on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.
Bluford was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Overbrook High School. He received a BS in aerospace engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 1964; a MS in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1974; a PhD in aerospace engineering with a minor in laser physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1978, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston–Clear Lake in 1987.
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.