Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Richard "Dick" Gordon, an Apollo 12 astronaut who circled the moon, died at the age of 88, NASA announced Tuesday.
Gordon died Monday in his California home, family and friends told the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
"Dick Gordon is an American hero, and a true renaissance man by any measure. He was an American naval officer and aviator, chemist, test pilot, NASA astronaut, professional football executive, oil and gas executive and generous contributor to worthy causes," board chairman of the foundation, Curt Brown, said. "He was in a category all his own."
Gordon spent 316 hours in space on two missions, according to NASA. He was the pilot for the three-day Gemini 11 mission in 1966 and performed two spacewalks.
"NASA and the nation have lost one of our early space pioneers. We send our condolences to the family and loved ones of Gemini and Apollo astronaut Richard Gordon, a hero from NASA's third class of astronauts,
Gordon was born in born in Seattle, Wash., in 1929 and obtained a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Washington in 1951 before receiving his wings as a naval aviator in 1953.
Upon retiring from NASA he served as executive vice president of the NFL's New Orleans Saints and held executive positions at several companies in the oil and gas, engineering and technology industries.
He is survived by his six children, Carleen, Richard, Lawrence, Thomas, James, and Diane, two step-children, Traci and Christopher, and five grandchildren, Madison, Sean, Ryan, Lea and David