Neil deGrasse Tyson was born and raised in New York City where he was educated in public schools through his graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. Tyson went on to earn his B.A. in physics from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Columbia University.
In 2001, Tyson was appointed by President Bush to serve on a 12-member commission that studied the future of the US Aerospace Industry. The final report contained recommendations that would promote a thriving future of transportation, space exploration and national security. In 2004, Tyson was once again appointed by President Bush to serve on a 9-member commission on the Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy, dubbed the Moon, Mars and Beyond commission. And in 2006, the head of NASA appointed Tyson to serve on its prestigious Advisory Council, which will help guide NASA through its perennial need to fit its ambitious vision into its restricted budget.
Among Tyson’s ten books is his memoir The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist and Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, co-written with Donald Goldsmith. It is the companion book to the PBS-NOVA 4-part mini-series Origins, which Tyson hosted. For five seasons, beginning in the fall of 2006, Tyson hosted PBS-NOVA’s spinoff program NOVA ScienceNOW, which is an accessible look at the science that shapes our understanding of our place in the universe.
Tyson is the recipient of 18 honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given by NASA to a non-government citizen. His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos were recognized by the International Astronomical Union in their official naming of asteroid 13123 Tyson.
In February 2012, Tyson released his tenth book, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, on the past, present, and future of space exploration. Currently, Tyson is working on a 21st century reboot of Carl Sagan’s landmark television series Cosmos, to air in 13 episodes on the Fox network in the spring of 2014.
Tyson is the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.