Captain Eugene Andrew Cernan (March 14, 1934 – January 16, 2017) born in Chicago of Slavic parents became the final man to step foot on the moon. The American astronaut, engineer, aviator and fighter pilot, traveled into space 3 times during his career. In June 1966 he served as the pilot of Gemini 9 then again in May 1969 as the module pilot of Apollo 10. Finally, he served as the commander of the last mission to the moon in Dec 1972 known as Apollo 17. Cernan was also a backup crew member for the Gemini 12, Apollo 7 and Apollo 14.
He attended Purdue University on a partial Navy ROTC scholarship where he received his degree in Engineering. Commissioned in the Navy, he served as an aviator, logging more than 5000 flight hours. In 1963 he received his MS degree in Aeronautical Engineering and was selected in the 3rd group of applicants for the astronaut program.
Along with Jim Lovell and John Young, Cernan became 1 of only 3 men to travel to the moon two different times. Both Cernan and Neil Armstrong were alumni of Purdue University who now holds the honor of being the alma mater of both the first and the final astronauts on the moon.
After retiring from the Navy in 1976, he became Executive Vice President of Coral Petroleum Inc before starting his own company, The Cernan Corporation, in 1981. In 1999 he wrote his memoirs, "The Last Man on the Moon." He died at the age of 82 and was laid to rest with full military honors at Texas State Cemetery.