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The Omega Psi Phi fraternity member earned his master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1977. Two years later, Bolden completed courses at the United States Naval Test Pilot School and was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate in 1980. In 1981, Bolden’s astronaut appointment was official and he flew four space missions between 1986 and 1994.

Bolden rejoined the Marines in 1994, serving as the Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy. In July of 1998, Bolden was named Major General and was the Deputy Commander of all United State Forces in Japan. He retired from the Marine Corps in 2004.

Bolden currently resides in Houston, Texas with his wife, Alexis. The pair have two children, Anthony Che and Kelly Michelle.

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Little Known Black History Fact: Charles Bolden, Jr.  was originally published on

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