A veteran of four spaceflights, he became the first person to accrue over 1,000 hours as a Space Shuttle commander/pilot. He also served as a colonel in the United States Air Force.
He attended the USAF Test Pilot School in 1983 and became an F-16C test pilot at Edwards AFB, California.
Among the many honors he has received are The NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He married a woman named Julie and had three children.
He, like astronaut Michael Collins, worked as a test pilot.