Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. (November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998) was an American naval aviator, test pilot, flag officer, and NASA astronaut who in May 5, 1961 became the second person, and the first American, in space.
His Mercury spacecraft flight was designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit. Ten years later Shepard commanded the Apollo 14 mission, piloting the lander to the most accurate landing of the Apollo missions. He became the fifth person to walk on the Moon, and the only Mercury astronaut to walk on the moon. During the mission he hit two golf balls on the lunar surface.
He retired from the US Navy and NASA in 1974. During retirement Shepard became a successful businessman.
Alan Shepard died of leukemia in 1998, five weeks before the death of his wife of 53 years. They were survived by their three daughters.