Col. Joseph Kittinger - Florida
© Jim Herrington
I had known about Col. Joseph Kittinger since I was a kid. In 1960 he jumped out of a weather balloon at 102,800 feet and he almost reached Mach 1, the speed of sound, during his free fall. The skydive was done for high altitude research, but in the process he did nab, and still holds, the records for the highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, longest free-fall, and fastest speed by man through the atmosphere. I also remembered seeing him in National Geographic when he became, in 1984, the first person to fly a balloon solo across the Atlantic. I was reminded of him recently and decided to seek him out. He was game for a visit, so I went to Florida and photographed him and returned home with this photo, as well as a bag of oranges from the tree in his backyard.