Ronald McNair Age, Height, Wife, Tradegy, Net Worth 2023, Ig

Ronald McNair, an African-American scientist, and astronaut was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.

Before joining NASA in the late 1970s, Ronald McNair was an MIT-trained physicist specializing in laser research. He was the second African American to reach orbit in February 1984, serving as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

ronald mcnair age
At the age of 35, Ronald McNair died in an explosion.
Image Source: Sacramento

Along with seven other crew members, he got killed when the Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff on January 28, 1986.

Discover Ronald McNair’s biography, age, height, physical stats, relationships, family, and professional updates. Then, let’s find out how wealthy he is and also find out how he made the most of his fortune before he died.

Ronald McNair: Quick Facts

Full Name Ronald Erwin McNair
NickName Ronald McNair
Date of Birth October 21, 1950
Birth Place Lake City, South Carolina,
Age Died at the age of 35
Sun Sign Libra
Father’s Name Carl McNair
Mother’s Name Pearl McNair
Siblings Carl and Eric A. McNair
Height Under review
Weight Under review
Nationality American
Sexuality Straight
Ethnicity Under review
Education Ph.D. in Quantum Electronics and Laser Technology
Body Type Under review
Marital Status Married
Net Worth $5 million.
Social Media Presence None
Last Updated On February 2023

Who is Ronald McNair? Early Life and Education

Ronald Erwin McNair was born in Lake City, South Carolina, on October 21, 1950. McNair was the second of three sons born to Carl, a mechanic, and Pearl, a teacher. He had two brothers, Carl, and Eric A. McNair. He showed an early talent for mechanical subjects.  His Friends remember him as the smartest kid in Lake City. The astronaut was also nicknamed “Gizmo” because he loved science so much.

ronald mcnair explosion
The seven members were caught in the space shuttle Challenger explosion.
Image Source: Encyclopedia

The launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik in 1957 sparked McNair’s interest in space, which was boosted by the emergence of Star Trek on television years later. McNair had a fascination with space from a very young age. “All Ronald spoke about was Sputnik, Sputnik, Sputnik. We’d had enough of hearing it.” His childhood buddy revealed in an interview with Ebony magazine.”

McNair was a standout student at Carver High School, where he excelled in baseball, basketball, and football and played saxophone in the school band. He received a scholarship at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University after graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1967.

Ronald McNair Family

Ronald was born to a couple Carl McNair and Pearl McNair. Since he was blessed with a well-settled couple, McNair didn’t have to struggle in childhood as he got everything he wanted.

His father Carl is an author, inspirational speaker, and many more. Besides that, he is also a founder of McNair Achievement Progarams, LLC.

Likewise, his mother Pearl devoted herself to taking care of her children. The family was concluded of five-member. The two remaining members are his siblings Carl S. McNair and Eric A. McNair.

Further Education

McNair considered concentrating on music at NC A&T at first but later returned to his love of science, earning a B.S. in physics in 1971.

He then got his Ph.D. in quantum electronics and laser technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. in 1976. he was a Ford Foundation fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  McNair, who attended a historically Black undergraduate institution, found it difficult to adjust to the new environment.

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He then experienced a potentially career-ending setback when two years of specialized laser physics research for his dissertation were stolen. Still, he recovered the data in a year and received his Ph.D. Dr. McNair’s academic achievements included being named a Presidential Scholar, a Ford Foundation Fellow, a National Fellowship Fund Fellow, a NATO Fellow, and winner of the Omega Psi Phi Scholar of the Year Award, and a Distinction Distinguished Alumni Award.

McNair was already a renowned specialist in the field of chemical and high-pressure lasers at this stage. In 1975, he went to France to study laser physics with several experts. His groundbreaking research results in the fields of lasers and molecular spectroscopy have been published in many journals. As a result, there have been several presentations both in the United States and overseas.

He proceeded to work at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California, where he worked on lasers for isotope separation and electro-optic modulation for satellite space communications, among other things.

Ronald McNair Age and Height

McNair’s birthday was on October 21, 1950, and he was born on Saturday. Ronald’s sun sign is Libra. Ronald McNair died on January 28, 1986, at age 35. He died during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L, in which he was serving as one of three mission specialists in a crew of seven.

ronald mcnair parents
Ronald McNair parents names are Carl McNair and Pearl McNair.
Image Source: Wikipedia

Aside from that, important facts regarding his physical characteristics, eye color, and hair are still being reviewed. But stay tuned because we’ll let you know as soon as we find out.


After graduating from college, McNair’s professional career started when he worked as a staff physicist at the Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California. He worked on lasers for isotope separation and electro-optic modulation for satellite space communications, among other things.

McNair heard that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) searched for scientists to join the shuttle program while working as a staff physicist at Hughes Research Laboratories. McNair was one of 35 people chosen out of 11,000 applications in January 1978, and he finished his training and evaluation phase the following August.

With the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger’s STS-41B mission on February 3, 1984, McNair became the second African American in space, just five months after Guion S.

The mission was a success, with two Hughes376 communications satellites successfully deployed by the shuttle. This mission was the first time the Manned Maneuvering Unit flew and the first time Dr. McNair used the Canadian arm to place EVA crew members in the Challenger’s cargo compartment.

McNair, a mission specialist, guided astronaut Bruce McCandless through his historic untethered spacewalk by operating Challenger’s robotic arm.

Before returning to Kennedy Space Center on February 11, McNair spent 191hours in space while Challenger orbited Earth 122

Musician and Martial Artist

McNair, who played saxophone for a band during college, maintained his love for the instrument throughout his life. He was famously photographed playing his sax during his first mission to space in

Additionally, the accomplished physicist and astronaut were highly skilled in karate. He won the 1976AAU Karate Gold Medal and five regional championships, eventually achieving the rank of fifth-degree black belt.

Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy

In early 1985, McNair was selected for the STS-51L mission of the Space Shuttle Challenger, an undertaking that would draw media attention for its selection of teacher Christa McAuliffe as a civilian payload specialist. McNair was tasked with controlling Challenger’s robotic arm to release and retrieve a satellite to observe Halley’s Comet.

ronald mcnair wife
Ronald McNair wife name is Cheryl B. Moore.
Image Source: Foxy

Challenger launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, shortly before noon on January 28, 1986, after numerous delays. Then, on a live broadcast, the shuttle unexpectedly exploded seventy-three seconds later at about 46,000 feet, killing all seven crew members. McNair was just 35 years old at the time.

According to a presidential panel, the explosion was caused by the failure of a rubber O-ring seal on one of Challenger’s solid rocket boosters, enabling hot gases to seep into the hydrogen fuel tank. McNair’s wife eventually won a settlement from Morton Thiokol, the seal maker.

Ronald McNair Wife

Ronald McNair wife name is Cheryl B. Moore. The couple Ronald and Cheryl meet each other for the first time while going to church.

Since Ronald McNair wife was so amusing that Ronald could hold himself and approach her.

The due then got into a relationship and in 1976 Ronald and Cheryl walked through the aisle and tied the knot.

Talking about their children, they are blessed with two Joy Cheray McNair and Reginald Ervin McNair.

However, the happiness of the couple shattered after ten years of their marriage as Ronald McNair died in the space incident.

Ronald McNair Net Worth 2023

Ronald McNair may have had a short life, but he led a fulfilling personal and professional life. We may infer that he made a lot of money because he worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

After accumulating all the assets he owns to date, Ronald McNair net worth stands at the time of death was $5 million.

Social Media Presence

Ronald McNair died in the year 1986 when social media was not relevant at all. So, it is obvious that he is not on any social media platform.

Interesting Facts about Ronald McNair

  • McNair was known among his friends as the most intelligent child in Lake City. He was able to read at the age of three and began second grade at the age of five.
  • Karate was one of McNair’s undergraduate hobbies. He was a fifth-degree black belt who had won several competitions, including an AAU gold medal. He is listed as the chief teacher for A&T’s karate squad in the 1971Ayantee yearbook.
  • During the eight-day mission, McNair and the other four crew members spent 191 hours in space. During its journey, the Challenger completed 128 Earth circles.
  • Playing the saxophone was another of McNair’s hobbies. He took his instrument with him on the expedition and performed while in space.


Did Ronald McNair get kicked out of a library?

Yes, at the age of Ronald was kicked out of the library because he was black.

Why is Ronald McNair so important?

McNair was one of the dedicated people who died in the space shuttle Challenger explosion on 28th January 1986.

Which space shuttle exploded?

The space shuttle Challenger exploded.

How old was Ronald McNair when he died?

At the age of 35, Ronald McNair died in the space shuttle Challenger explosion.

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