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Henri Landwirth – Founder to The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, Holocaust Survivor, Philanthropist – Dies at 91

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation has lost one of its last living founders.

Henri Landwirth moved to Florida in 1954 managing the Starlight Motel in Cocoa Beach during the early space exploration days. At this time in history, The Mercury 7 astronauts made the Starlight Motel a temporary residence setting the stage for lasting friendships to be forged between Henri and these gentlemen.

Henri’s idea that the Mercury 7 needed to do good with their notoriety lead to the Mercury 7 Foundation. The six surviving members of the Mercury 7; Betty Grissom, widow of the seventh; and Dr. William Douglas, the Project Mercury flight surgeon established the Mercury 7 Foundation in 1984 – which later became the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). The Foundation originally funded seven $1,000 scholarships. It has since grown, now giving fifty $10,000 scholarships annually to deserving students within science, technology, engineering and mathematics nationwide.

Henri-Landwirth-pictureLandwirth retired from the hotel industry in 1986 and had since devoted himself to improving the lives of those in need through numerous foundations and nonprofit organizations. Henri-Landwirth-pictureHis impact on the world – through vision and good heart – was instrumental in changing the lives of so many students who have now moved on to create new technology, become some of the most notable leaders within their industry, and impact the space program.

Henri-Landwirth-pictureHenri and his twin sister spent five years in concentration camps during the Holocaust. In being spared from the Nazi death camps and finding good fortune upon coming to the United States, Henri sought to use his generosity to pay his blessing forward by touching the lives of those with the utmost need. Along with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, Henri is the founder of Give Kids The World, the Fanny Landwirth Foundation, and Dignity U Wear. He has earned numerous awards and was named one of the 12 Most Caring Individuals in America.

Henri is survived by three children, Gary, Greg, and Lisa, and his four grandchildren: Rebecca, Max, Sarah and Emily. All have followed in his footsteps serving the foundations he built.

Henri-Landwirth-pictureThrough his lifetime, Henri inspired people to be their best. Through him, Astronaut Scholars started the Honor Society – a strong network of scholarship alumni that support each other, collaborate, and inspire one another keeping the United States ahead in technology and innovation. Many scholars’ and astronauts’ lives have been touched by Henri over the years. ASF gives thanks to Henri’s vision and good heart that left such an immense impact on the world he is leaving behind. Although he may no longer be with us, his legacy will remain everlasting.

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