Buzz Aldrin was born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. on January 20, 1930 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. As a youth, he attended classes at Montclair High School. He obtained the nickname Buzz from his younger sister, who pronounced brother as "buzzer".
After high school, Buzz enrolled in West Point's US Military Academy, majoring in science. He graduated in 1951 and was ranked third in his class. After graduation, he joined the US Air Force as a Second Lieutenant and served in the Korean War.
In Korea, Buzz flew a F-86 Sabre fighter jet in 66 combat missions. During his missions, he shot down two MiG-15 jets. Following the war, he returned to the United States and began working as an aerial gunnery instructor at the Nellis US Air Force Base in Nevada. Afterward, he served as an aide to the dean at the US Air Force Academy. Later, he was transferred to Bitburg, Germany, where he was a flight commander and flew F-100 Super Sabres.
Buzz decided to leave the military at this point in order to study at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There, he studied Astronautics and earned his Ph.D. in the subject. He wrote his thesis paper on the subject of guidance techniques for manned orbital maneuvers.
After earning his doctorate, Buzz rejoined the Air Force and moved to Los Angeles. There, he was assigned to the Gemini Target Office at the Air Force Space Systems Division. In October of 1963, he was selected by NASA to work as an astronaut. In 1966, he flew on the Gemini XII mission and broke the record for time on a spacewalk.
Buzz participated in the Apollo VIII mission as a command module pilot and was able to fly around the moon, becoming the first human to do so. On July 20, 1969, during the Apollo XI mission, he touched down on the moon with Neil Armstrong and became the first human to walk on the moon. The event made him an international celebrity and marked the beginning of a new era in space research.
After returning from the moon, Buzz was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and went on an international goodwill tour. A while later, he was transferred to work at the US Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base. In March of 1972, he decided to retire from active duty.
Since then, Buzz has remained active in space-related matters. He wrote an autobiography called "Return to Earth" that details the struggles that he endured with alcoholism and depression following the Apollo 11 mission. In 1988, he remarried to a woman named Lois Driggs Cannon. On September 9, 2002, he famously punched a man named Bart Sibrel who had been stalking him and making claims that the moon mission was faked.