All About Alan Shepard: Life After Being an Astronaut

Since you can’t stay an astronaut forever, there has to be some way that former space explorers make a living and continue on with a “normal” life. In the case of Alan Shepard Jr, he received many awards, recognition, and honors over the years, as well as made a significant dent in the business world as well. This article will explore some of his accomplishments.

Shepard was known as a savvy businessman, which helped catapult him to the status of millionaire while he was still in the space exploration program. He became the first astronaut to achieve this financial status. Once he retired from the space program, he served on a variety of corporation boards, using the name Seven-Fourteen Enterprises (which paid homage to his two historical flights, Freedom 7 and Apollo 14).

With the help of two journalists (Jay Barbree and Howard Benedict), he was able to publish “Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon” in 1994. Interestingly, the book attracted a bit of controversy, as an image of a faked photo depicting Shepard hitting a golf ball on the moon was deliberately inserted into the publication. The reason being that the true photo was too grainy on the videotape of the televised version. This photo would later find re-use in another book that Barbree wrote. That same year, the book was made into a miniseries for TV.

As for the family life, Shepard had three daughters (Laura, Alice, and Juliana). Alan Shepard Jr passed away in July 21st, 1998 close to his home in Pebble Beach, California.  At the time of his death, he was married to his wife of 53 (Louise Brewer). She joined him five weeks later. Both of their remains were cremated and their ashes soon joined the sea.

Awards and Recognition

Shepard was the recipient of many awards in his lifetime, including the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. In May of 1964, Shepard took home the Langley Award, which is the highest honor that you can get from the Smithsonian Institution). In 1971, he also earned the City of New York Gold Medal. Additionally:

·    A Navy supply ship was named the Alan Shepard (T-AKE-3) in 2006.

·    If you travel down the Interstate 565 in northern Alabama, this connecting highway links Decatur, Alabama and Huntsville, Alabama, and bears the name “Admiral Alan B. Shepard Highway.”

·    The city of Derry came pretty close to changing its name to “Spacetown”, as the residents wished to honor Shepard’s career. Instead, an Act of Congress allowed the Post Office in Derry to be known as “Alan B.
·    Shepard, Jr. Post Office Building’.

·    The high school team of Pinkerton Academy (where Shepard attended) named a building after him, as well as bears the team name of ‘Astros.’

·    Just some of the school named after him includes the Alan B. Shepard High School (Palos Heights, Illinois), the Alan B. Shepard Middle School (Deerfield, Illinois), and Alan B. Shepard Middle School (San Antonio, Texas).