Charlie Duke probably isn’t a household name. By the time you get to the tenth mission in a series of space missions, things start to become mundane…at least for us. The same thing was happening to the American people–by Apollo 16, they were too familiar with lunar missions.
Charlie is actually rather infamous in a non-famous sort of way–we all know how the Apollo 13 astronauts had a measles scare, because we’ve seen Tom Hanks acting out that story. Charlie was the astronaut who actually caught the measles and exposed the Apollo 13 crew to it.
But for Charlie Duke, Apollo 16 was the opportunity of a lifetime. In fact, at one point he stated that the lunar landing defined who he was…until his wife declared she didn’t want to live anymore.
I first came across his book at the Kennedy Space Center gift shop–I devoured it. At that time, I was still dreaming about test pilot school. I read it again last month, as an alumnus of the Test Pilot School that Charlie also attended–again I read it with rapt attention, but this time I found myself responding with goose bumps, tears, laughter, and a host of emotions. Charlie’s story has renewed my desire, my childhood dream, to walk on the moon.
I follow Charlie because he has succeeded and failed and succeeded again, this time at life as a husband and father, a calling higher than the moon he walked on. What he realized in the end…that’s what I want for my life too.
Charlie published his autobiography many years ago. Now we are proud to announce that is is available on Kindle for the first time, with a new cover designed specifically for this digital release. All profits from the sale of his book are donated to Charlie Duke Ministries for Christ.
Outliers – Who to Follow is a column that introduces you to Outliers, leaders of significance, people you should follow. Following them will not just add value–it will multiply value in your life and leadership.