Homer Hickam Biography

Updated On Feb 13, 2019 Published On Feb 13, 2019
Facts of Homer Hickam
Date of Birth: 1943 , February-19
Birth Nation: United States
Name Homer Hickman
Birth Name Homer Hadley Hickman Jr
Nick Name Homer
Father Homer Sr. Hickman
Mother Elsie Gardener Hickman
Nationality American
Birth Place/City Coalwood, West Virginia
Ethnicity White
Profession Former Engineer, Veteran Army, Author
Net Worth Estimated around $1 million
Famous for Rocket Boys
Married Yes
Married to Linda Terry Hickman
Education Virginia Tech
Awards Clarence Cason Award, Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award
View moreless Facts of Homer Hickam

Homer Hickam is an American author, Vietnam veteran army, and a former NASA engineer who was the first Japanese astronaut's trainer. He is famous as the author of the national best-seller book Rocket Boys (1998) which was later turned into the film, October Sky. He also published Torpedo Junction and Coalwood. 

Homer Hickam's Early Life and Education

Hickam was born Homer Hadley Hickam Jr to father Homer Sr. and mother Elsie Gardener Hickam, on 19th February 1943. Homer was raised in Coalwood, West Virginia alongside his elder brother Jim Hickam. Hickam holds American nationality and is of white ethnicity. 

He graduated from Big Creek High School in 1960 and later went to attend Virginia Tech. He then joined the School's Corps of Cadets in 1960. He graduated from Virginia Tech with Bachelor of Science degree in 1964. 

Homer Hickam's Career 

Initially, Hickam served in the U.S Army as a 1st Lieutenant in the 4th Infantry Division during the Vietnam war. In 1970, he was honorably discharged from his duty after six years with a rank of Captain. 

Hickam also served as an aerospace engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center which is located in the Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Alabama after NASA hired him. 

Hickam worked as a spacecraft design and trained astronaut crews for several Spacelab and space mission which includes Hubble Space Telescope deployment mission, the first two Hubble repair mission. 

Hickam along with his friends Roy Lee Cooke, Sherman Siers, O'Dell Carroll, Quentin Wilson, and Billy Rose became rocket builders calling themselves The Big Creek Missile Agency (BCMA). They also got qualified for the National Science Fair in 1960 and won a gold and silver medal for their designs. 

He was also the Payload Training Manager for the International Space Station program before his retirement from NASA. 

He turned his career into writing in 1969 after his retirement from Army. He first started as a magazine stories writer and wrote about scuba diving. In 1989, Hickam published his first book Torpedo Junction, a military history best seller. 

In 1998, Hickam published his second book with Delacorte Press called Rocket Boys which was the story of his life as the son of a coal miner. The book became widely popular and had been translated into several languages and has released an audiobook and electronic book. 

In February 1999, Rocket Boys was turned into a movie October Sky and was released by Universal Studios. In 1999, he released his first fiction novel Back to the Moon which was also translated in Chinese. He published his final book Coalwood in 2002

Hickam has published a young adult science fiction thriller trilogy known as the Helium-3 which include the titles Creator, Crescent, and the Lunar Rescue Company

In 2015, Hickam published his best selling book Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Aligator which has been translated into 17 languages and has won him many awards. 

Homer Hickam's Awards and Achievements

The veteran army Hickam has been honored with several prestigious awards throughout his life. In 1984, Hickam was honored with Alabama's Distinguished Service Awards for his heroic actions during a rescue effort of a sunken paddleboat in the Tennessee River. 

After the award, Hickam was given a prestigious opportunity to carry the Olympic Torch in 1996 by the United States Olympic Committee. 

In 2007, Hickam received an honorary doctorate in Literature from Marshall University and the same year he even won the Distinguished Achievement Award from Virginia Tech. 

In 2010, he was awarded the Audie Murphy Patriotism Award at Spirit of America Festival. Likewise, he was awarded the Clarence Cason Award for his non-fiction writing from the University of Alabama. 

In 2014, he was awarded the Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award at Shephard University. 

Homer Hickam's Net Worth 

Hickam has earned a hefty amount of money from his career as an author, former NASA engineer, and an army. As of early 2019, Homer Hickam's net worth is reported to be around $1 million. 

Hickam has earned his fortunes from his best selling books. He also owns few real estates in Alabama and the Virgin Islands. The average price of the estates ranged from $129,800 to $350 thousand.

ALSO SEE: 42 Years American Script Writer Joseph Gatto's Earning From his Profession and Net Worth He has Managed

Homer Hickam's Personal Life

Moving on to Homer Hickam's personal life, he rarely opens up regarding his personal life. He has been married to Linda Terry Hickam for a long time now. The couple got married in 1998 and is still living a healthy life. 

Information regarding his children, past affairs, divorce is not known to the public. Homer is not active on any social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

SIMILAR PERSONALITIESBruce Wagner, Kevin Spacey, and John Grisham.

Homer Hickam facts on timeline

Born in Coalwood

February 19 , 1943

Homer Hadley Hickman Jr was born on 19 February 1943 to father Homer Sr. and mother, Elsie Gardener Hickman. He is of American nationality and White ethnicity. 

Graduated from Virginia Tech

1964

Homer attended and graduated from Big Creek High School in 1960. He then joined the School's Corps of Cadets the same year. In 1964, he enrolled in Virginia Tech from where he got his degree in Science. 

Served in the US Army

1970

Homer is a veteran army who served as the 1st Lieutenant in the 4th Infantry Division during the Vietnam war. After his retirement, he served as a NASA engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center. 

Published Torpedo

1989

Homer turned his career into writing and published his first book Torpedo Junction. In 1998, Homer published his second book Rocket Boys which was later turned into a movie by the Universal Studio. 

Won Alabama's Distinguished Service Awards

1984

For his heroic actions during a rescue effort of a sunken paddleboat in the Tennessee River Homer was awarded Alabama's Distinguished Service Awards.

Was honored with Distinguished Achievement Award

2007

In 2007, he received an honorary doctorate in Literature from Marshall University and the same year he also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from Virginia Tech. 

Was awarded with Audie Murphy Patriotism Award

2010

In 2010, he was awarded the Audie Murphy Patriotism Award at Spirit of America Festival and was also awarded the Clarence Cason Award for his non-fiction writing from the University of Alabama. 

Married to Linda Terry

1998

Homer is living a happy married life since 1998 with Linda Terry. The couple has been together for over two decades now. However, they have not disclosed information regarding their children. 

Estimated to be In Millions

2019

Homer has been active in several fields throughout his life. He has amassed fortunes from his best selling books and has a net worth around $1 million as of 2019.