10 Things to Know: Sally Ride

The first American woman (and possibly the first LGBT person) in space will receive a posthumous honor from the president this week.



6. Ride was intensely private about her life outside of work, which was why very few people knew that she had been dealing with pancreatic cancer for 17 months. It's also why her sexual orientation was not well known. According to a 2003 interview in The New York Times, Ride said that she had in fact turned down multiple opportunities to tell her life story. Her sister, Bear Ride, later explained, “Sally didn’t use labels. Sally had a very fundamental sense of privacy, it was just her nature, because we’re Norwegians, through and through.”