Dr. Guion Stewart “Guy” Bluford, Jr. (born November 22, 1942), is an engineer, NASA astronaut, and the first African American in space. Before becoming an astronaut, Bluford was a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. 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 the mission STS-8, Bluford became the first African American in space as well as the second person of African ancestry in space, after Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez.
Bluford was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 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 has two sons, Guion III and James. While at Penn State, Bluford became a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.