Orlando legend Col. Joe Kittinger dies at 94

U.S. Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger

ORLANDO, Fla. — U.S. Air Force Col. Joseph Kittinger has passed away at the age of 94.

Kittinger was an internationally renowned pilot and balloonist. He set the record for the highest parachute jump and freefall Aug. 16, 1960 as part of Project Excelsior.

Read: Joe Kittinger dedicates F-4 Phantom to local veterans

Kittinger jumped from a high-altitude balloon at 102,800 feet and fell for 4 minutes and 36 seconds.

It would be 53 years before that record was broken.

Orlando is the home to Colonel Joe Kittinger Park at South Crystal Lake Drive and East South Street.

The park was initially dedicated in September 1992 and was refurbished in 2011.

Read: Historic F-4 Phantom fighter arrives in Orlando to serve as Vietnam vet tribute

In 2014, a F-4 Phantom was installed as a monument to honor and recognize the Central Florida veterans who served the U.S. and participated in the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1973.

Anchor Greg Warmoth will share more about Kittinger’s life and accomplishments on Channel 9 Eyewitness News at 5. Click here to stream it live.

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