David L. Cisco looked at the lunar module, with its paper-thin walls and countless switches and dials, and had a moment of doubt. Could this thing really take people to the moon?
In 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin answered that question. But the astronauts had help; an unsung, 400,000-member workforce made the Apollo program -- and America’s race to the final frontier -- a reality.
As a thirteen-year-old junkyard forklift operator, Cisco never dreamt of being a part of American history. With the chaos of the 1960s swirling around him, this biracial young man decided to give up life in New York for a future as an Apollo technician in Houston.
Moving into the corporate world, Cisco hired some of the first female and African-American airline pilots in the United States. He and his wife later launched a successful travel agency. Along the way, he was elected to public office and worked tirelessly for charity and his community, earning the kid from the junkyard a trip to the White House.