Michael Collins – Career, Apollo 11 & Death

American astronaut Michael Collins was part of the historic 1969 Apollo 11 mission, remaining in the command module as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. Since he stayed behind to pilot the command module as Aldrin and Armstrong took their historic first steps, Collins was often referred to as “the forgotten astronaut.” He died on April 28, 2021 at the age of 90.

WATCH: Moon Landing: The Lost Tapes on HISTORY Vault

Military career

Born in Italy on October 31, 1930, where his father, US Army Major General James Lawton Collins was stationed. After the United States entered World War II, the family moved to Washington, DC, where Collins attended St. Albans School. During this time, he applied and was accepted to West Point Military Academy in New York City, and decided to follow his father, two uncles, brother and cousin into the armed forces.

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