Mark Kelly is an American astronaut, retired United States Navy Captain, #1 New York Times best-selling author, and an experienced naval aviator and test pilot who flew combat missions during the Gulf War. The winner of many awards, including the Legion of Merit, two Defense Superior Service Medals, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Kelly was selected by NASA as an astronaut in 1996. He flew his first of four missions in 2001 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the same space shuttle that he commanded on its final flight in May 2011. He has also commanded Space Shuttle Discovery and is one of only two individuals who have visited the International Space Station on four different occasions. With 6,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft, 375 aircraft carrier landings, 39 combat missions and more than 50 days in space, Mark Kelly is one of our country’s most experienced pilots.
Already a celebrated American, Kelly became the center of international attention after the January 2011 assassination attempt on his wife, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Their story captivated the nation and was chronicled in an exclusive Diane Sawyer interview as well as on the covers of People and USA Today. Kelly was featured on the cover of Esquire and named one of the magazine’s 2011 “Americans of the Year.” In 2013, Kelly and Giffords were selected as Glamour magazine’s very first “Couple of the Year.”
Kelly is also an entrepreneur and is one of the founders of World View Enterprises, a company pioneering a new frontier at the edge of space. He is a sought after public speaker who exemplifies leadership, the importance of teamwork, and courage under pressure.