Borman, Frank


Gemini 7 & Apollo 8 astronaut, led Eastern Airlines 1975-86, on his model airplane hobby



Type: Letter
Description:  (b. 1928) USMA 1950, US Air Force col. (ret.), aeronautical engineer, test pilot, business executive, NASA astronaut. He was commander of Apollo 8, 1st mission to fly around the Moon with crewmates Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, 1st of 24 to do so, awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

He qualified as a fighter pilot, earned a 1957 CalTech Master of Science degree then became an asst. professor of thermodynamics at West Point. In 1960, he was selected for Class 60-C at the USAF Experimental Flight Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB and qualified as a test pilot. On graduation, he was accepted as 1 of 5 students in the 1st Aerospace Research Pilot School class.

Borman was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1962 with the 2nd Group, known as “the Next Nine”. In 1966, he set a 14-day spaceflight endurance record as Gemini 7 commander. He served on the NASA review board which investigated the Apollo 1 fire, then flew to the Moon with Apollo 8 in Dec. 1968. The mission is known for the “Earthrise” photograph taken by Anders of the Earth rising above the lunar horizon as the Command/Service Module orbited the Moon, and for the reading from the Book of Genesis televised to Earth from lunar orbit on Christmas Eve. During the Apollo 11 Moon landing mission, he was NASA’s White House liaison and viewed the launch on television with President Nixon.

After retiring from NASA and the USAF in 1970, Borman became Sr. VP for operations at Eastern Airlines, becoming CEO in 1975, and Board Chairman in 1976. Under his leadership, Eastern went through the 4 most profitable years in its history, but airline deregulation and additional debt taken on to purchase new aircraft led to pay cuts and layoffs, and ultimately conflict with unions, resulting in his resignation in 1986.

10 ½ x 7 ¼ TLS on Eastern Air Lines letterhead as President, white embossed logo at top left, Miami, June 15 1981, to a Missouri collector. As a boy in Tucson, Borman was fascinated by aviation, determined to make it his career, his hobby has always been model airplanes. He mentions collecting and restoring antique model aircraft and engines: “…`there’s no other spare time pursuit that’s quite as interesting.”

Condition: Very Good

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