“Cascade Media Group Presents An Exclusive Two-Hour Interview With Edward Dwight, Part 1

“Cascade Media Group presents an exclusive two-hour interview with Ed Dwight, the first African American to have entered the Air Force training program from which NASA selected astronauts. Born on September 9, 1933, Dwight is a multifaceted individual – a sculptor, author, former test pilot, and astronaut. Despite his significant contributions, he was controversially not selected to officially join NASA. In this intimate conversation, Dwight shares his personal narrative, his family history, and his experiences from 1933 to the present day, including his historic flight into space.”
Dwight was born in Kansas City, Kansas, to Georgia Baker Dwight and Edward Joseph Dwight Sr., who played second base and centerfield for the Kansas City Monarchs and other Negro league teams1. As a child, he was an avid reader and talented artist who was mechanically gifted and enjoyed working with his hands1. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 19531 and became a USAF test pilot2. In 1961, he earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University.
At the suggestion of the National Urban League’s Whitney M. Young, Jr., the Kennedy administration chose Captain Ed Dwight as the first Negro astronaut trainee in 19622. Despite facing severe discrimination from other astronauts, Dwight persevered until President Kennedy’s death, when government officials created a threatening atmosphere2. He resigned in 1966, never having gone into space.
After leaving the military, Dwight joined IBM and started a construction company, before earning a master’s degree in sculpture in the late 1970s2. He’s since dedicated himself to art2. His sculptures focus on Black history and include memorials and monuments across the country.
On May 19, 2024, at the age of 90, Dwight finally achieved spaceflight, surpassing William Shatner as the oldest person to fly in space1. He was part of the six-person crew aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard flight345. The flight lasted roughly 10 minutes, during which Dwight and the other passengers experienced a few minutes of weightlessness6. This marked a fulfilled dream for Dwight, who finally reached space after being turned down by NASA 60 years ago.

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