- Associated Press - Friday, January 11, 2013

MEMPHIS, TENN. (AP) - Family members say that Dyer Brainerd Holmes, director of manned space flight for NASA when Americans were making their early forays into space in the early 1960s, has died.

Holmes‘ stepson, Pierce Ledbetter, says Holmes died at Baptist Memorial Hospital East in Memphis on Friday at age 91. Ledbetter says Holmes died from complications from pneumonia.

Holmes was born in New York in 1921. He was an influential figure in the aeronautics and aerospace industries during a career that lasted more than 40 years.

According to the NASA History Office, he joined the agency as director of manned space flight in October 1961. He resigned in June 1963.

During Holmes‘ time at NASA, John Glenn became the first U.S. astronaut in orbit on Feb. 20, 1962, on Mercury-Atlas 6.

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