Gagarin, Yuri Alexeyevich 1934 - 1968
He started his working career in 1950 as an apprentice at a foundry. He attended evening classes from where he was selecterd for further training at Saratov Industrial Technical School. It was whilst studying here he volunteered for training as a Soviet air cadet at the local flying club. He was drafted into the Soviet Army in 1955 and trained as a pilot and was further promoted becoming a Senior Lieutenant in 1959.
In 1960 he was selected for the Soviet Space program. He completed his training and was one of 20 possible candidates before ultimately being chosen to fly in Vostok 3KA-3 (Vostok 1) on the 12th April 1961, he became the first human to travel into space.
After his successful flight into space he remained a pilot and whilst on a routine training flight was killed as a result of a crash in a Mig jet fighter he was flying at the time.