Historian; university professor of history. Born– June 12, 1952, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Married Margaret Anne “Peggy” Miller, December 11, 1976.  Children–two.  Education: Indiana State University, B. A., 1974; Ohio State University, M.A., 1976;  Ph.D, 1981. Historian, NASA Langley Research, 1981-85; Professor of history, University of Maine, Orono, 1984-85; Professor of History, Auburn University, 1986-; Department Chair, 1992-96; Director of Auburn Honors College, 2006-. Member advisory boards and panels of several organizations, including the National Air and Space Museum, the U. S. Space and Rocket Center, the Archives of Aerospace Exploration, and the Smithsonian Institution Press.  Received several awards at Auburn including the creative research award, teaching award, 2000, and induction into the Auburn College of Liberal Arts Academy of Teaching and Outstanding Scholars, in 2005.  Received the History Book Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; the Eugene Emme Prize from the American Astronautical Society; a Pulitzer Prize nomination for  Spaceflight Revolution; the Robert H. Goddard Award from the National Space Club and distinction of excellence from the Air Force Historical Foundation.


Contemporary Authors online


The Bird Is on the Wing:  Aerodynamics and the Progress of the American Airplane.  College Station, TX:  Texas A & M University Press, 2004.

A Difficult Par: Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the Making of Modern Golf.  New York:  Gotham Books, 2014.

Engineer in Charge:  A History of the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, 1917-1958.  Washington, DC: NASA, 1987.

First Man:  The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.  New York; Simon and Schuster, 2005.

Spaceflight Revolution: NASA Langley Research Laboratory from Sputnik to Apollo.  Washington DC: NASA, 1995.


Forever Young:  A Life of Adventure in Air and Space.  Gainesville, FL:  University Press of Florida, 2012.

From the Ground Up:  The Autobiography of an Aeronautical Engineer.  Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988.

Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2009.


The Wind and Beyond:  A Documentary Journey into the History of Aerodynamics in America.  VI volumes.  Washington:  NASA, 2003.