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About Sally Kristen Ride
Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut. Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983 became the first American woman to enter space. On her first mission at age 32 she was the youngest American to enter space. In 1987 she left NASA to work at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control.
Ride was born in Encino, California to Carol Joyce (née Anderson) and Dale Burdell Ride, an American Government professor at Santa Monica College. She had one younger sister, Karen Ride Scott, who is a Presbyterian minister. Ride's maternal grandfather, Andy Anderson, the son of Norwegian immigrant farmers to Minnesota, started of a chain of movie theaters and bowling alleys.
Ride married fellow NASA astronaut Steve Hawley in 1982; they divorced in 1987.
From 1985 until her death, Ride's partner, who is female, was Tam E. O'Shaughnessy, a professor emerita of school psychology at San Diego State University, and a childhood friend who met Ride when both were aspiring tennis players. O'Shaughnessy became a science teacher and writer and, later, the chief operating officer and executive vice president of Ride's company, Sally Ride Science. She co-authored several books with Ride. Their relationship of 27 years was revealed in Ride's obituary, which was released by Sally Ride Science and confirmed by Ride's sister.Her sister stated that Ride preferred to keep this information private during her life.
Ride died at 61 on July 23, 2012, after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.