- Buzz Aldrin is a former astronaut, engineer, and fighter pilot. He is most known for being the second man to walk on the moon.
- He revealed his struggles with depression and alcohol in 1972.
- In Jan. 2023, Buzz married Anca Faur, his fourth wife, on his 93rd birthday.
Buzz Aldrin, 93, is a household name. After he became the second person to walk on the moon in 1969 alongside the late Neil Armstrong, the former engineer‘s life was changed forever. Throughout his career as an astronaut, Buzz went on to participate in three spacewalks including the Gemini 12 mission (1966) and the Apollo 11 mission (1969). The now 93-year-old is also credited for taking the first “selfie” in outer space, per his NASA bio.
Most recently, Buzz married longtime sweetheart, Anca Faur, 64, on his 93rd birthday in Jan. 2023. Prior to that, he had been married three other times. His other wives included the late Lois Driggs Cannon, Beverly Van Zile, and Joan Archer. Amid his exciting new journey in life, here is everything to know about his longtime mental health and alcoholism struggles.
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Buzz Aldrin Reveals Alcoholism & Depression
Throughout the 1970s, Buzz came forward about his struggles with his mental health and his battle with alcoholism. In a rare move at the time, he took to the Los Angeles Times and opened up about his internal struggles, as reported by the Banyan Treatment Center. “I don’t think the Air Force knew what to do with someone who went to the moon,” he reportedly said during an interview at the time. “I was an outsider.”
In Buzz’s 2009 book, Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home From the Moon, he revealed the year that he began to drink more often. “By 1975 I was drinking more heavily and more frequently. I’d stop drinking for a few days, and sometimes went as long as two weeks without a drink, but then I’d become frustrated over my inability to persuade anyone to use my scientific knowledge or ideas, and the gloom set in like an incessant London fog,” he penned, via an excerpt obtained by TODAY. “The worse I felt, the more I tried to relieve my frustration through a bottle of Scotch, withdrawing into myself.”
By 1974, Buzz partnered with The National Association of Mental Health, and released a PSA video about mental health in light of his own struggles. “My life began to come apart. Depression… something I thought only happened to other people was happening to me,” he said in the clip at the time. He noted that he had decided to seek “professional help” for an “emotional problem.”
What Has He Said About His Recovery?
Later, in Aug. of 1975, Buzz admitted himself into an alcoholism rehabilitation center in Southern California. “The next morning, August 7, 1975, I checked in — ironically — to Beverly Manor, a civilian hospital in Orange County, where Dr. Flinn had made arrangements,” he wrote in his 2009 book. “The hospital had formerly been a nursing home, but was now well known as a premier alcoholism rehabilitation center. I stayed there for twenty-eight days under the care of the hospital’s medical director, Dr. Max Schneider.”
Years later, in May 2001, Buzz reflected on his sobriety during an interview with Psychology Today. “I also had a genetic tendency toward alcoholism. [Both of his parents suffered from the disease.] That eventually reached its peak in 1976 and 1977. Recovery was not easy. Perhaps the most challenging turnaround was accepting the need for assistance and help,” he admitted at the time. “Looking back at it now–with over 22 years of sobriety–this was probably one of my greatest challenges. But it has also been one of the most satisfying because it has given me a sense of comfort and ease with where I am now.”
How Long Has Buzz Aldrin Been Sober?
— Dr. Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) July 16, 2023
The Pace Recovery Center reports that Buzz officially got sober in Oct. of 1978. At one point, Buzz even served as the chairman for the National Mental Health Association. In the 2009 memoir, the former fighter pilot recalled the moment he admitted his alcoholism problem to himself. “At first the alcohol soothed the depression, making it at least somewhat bearable. But the situation progressed into depressive-alcoholic binges in which I would withdraw like a hermit into my apartment,” he wrote at the time.
“When I ventured out into the real world, I traipsed from doctor to doctor, trying to find help, thinking that I was fighting depression and not accepting the fact that alcoholism could be just as much of an illness for which I needed help,” he added. In 2001, he told BBC that he wanted to protect his sobriety. “It’s like a bank account, you’re accumulating sobriety and you’re accumulating a desire to protect that,” he said.
How Is Buzz Aldrin Doing Today?
These days, Buzz is living his best life with his wife, Anca. The two are often pictured on his Twitter account and her respective Instagram account. Most recently, on Jul. 16, 2023, he took to Twitter to share a photo of himself on the 54th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. “#Apollo11 launch day, 54th anniversary. 🇺🇸 Steak and eggs today celebrating in style at home with my Anca,” he captioned the sweet photo.
Earlier, on Feb. 14, 2023, his shared an adorable photo of the couple for Valentine’s Day. “Valentine’s orbit trip to JPL today, we had a great visit! #sweetvalentine #valentinesday2023 Hope your day was sweet,” she captioned the post, along with two heart emojis. Buzz is not only a proud husband, but also a father to three kids: Janice Aldrin, Andrew Aldrin, and James Aldrin.
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