'My First Hero Was Sally Ride'

But one columnist wishes she came out as lesbian while alive
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2012 1:41 PM CDT
Sally Ride in 2009.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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(Newser) – A sample of some of the commentary after the death of Sally Ride, who became the first US woman in space in 1983:

  • Helene McLaughlin, GeekMom: "I was nine years old when I first wanted to be an astronaut and my first hero was Sally Ride," writes the astrophysicist. Her "life was filled to the brim with adventure and inspiration," and the company she founded will continue to inspire young girls.
  • Meg Urry, CNN: She used her "fame for good," writes the Yale professor. Ride could have sat back after her historic shuttle trip, but "instead, she took on the great challenge of science literacy, especially for girls." Her legacy can be found in the youngsters she's still inspiring.

  • Andrew Sullivan, Daily Beast: Her professional achievements may be brilliant, but Sullivan wishes she were more of a trailblazer in her personal life. Ride was lesbian, which didn't become widely known until she died (as BuzzFeed notes). "She had a chance to expand people's horizons and young lesbians' hope and self-esteem, and she chose not to," writes Sullivan. "She was the absent heroine."

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