Someone listening to this podcast would assume that Pete Conrad didn’t do well in class because he was a jokester. That was not the case. In Rocketman, a biography of Conrad written by his wife, we learn that Conrad had severe dyslexia and was thrown out of prep school for his grades. He was very good with his hands and was an excellent automobile and airplane mechanic, driver, and pilot as a teenager.

After attending a special school for dyslexics, he was accepted into Princeton. While home on vacation he ran into his old headmaster, who assumed he was working as a mechanic in a garage and made a denigrating remark to Conrad. Conrad had the final say to the shocked headmaster when he told him he was a student at Princeton. Tom Wolfe focused on Conrad in his book The Right Stuff as the best pilot of those training to be astronauts.

Bill Farrell ’77
Ossining, N.Y.