American author, military veteran, and one-time NASA Engineer. He is best known for his New York Times bestselling memoir Rocket Boys. His other literary works include Torpedo Junction, Back to the Moon, and Sky of Stone.
In 1964, he graduated from Virginia Tech, where he studied Industrial Engineering. In the early 1980s, he began working for NASA.
He earned the Commendation Medal for his time spent serving in the Vietnam War.
He was born in Coalwood, West Virginia to Homer and Elsie Hickam. He married Linda Terry Hickam.
October Sky, the screen adaptation of Hickam's memoir Rocket Boys, stars actor Jake Gyllenhaal as Hickam.