Oscar Lee Fellows was born in Del Rio, Val Verde County, Texas, October 5, 1943, and grew up on the Texas-Mexican border. He spent four years in the United States Marine Corps (1962-66) as an NCO, and was married shortly after his discharge.
He worked several years as a roughneck, welder and machinist in the oil fields of west Texas, then moved to Austin and went to work for Texas Nuclear Corporation, building electron accelerators, and source heads for nuclear isotope transport and storage.
He studied electrical engineering in night school, and worked in land-mobile radio electronics for the Lower Colorado River Authority, a power utility. In 1972, he found a position with the federal government and worked his way into engineering management, where he spent the following twenty-one years (1972-93).
Over the span of his career, he took certificate courses in professional engineering and operations management through the Army Corps of Engineers School and US Air Force Academy, obtained a degree in electrical technology from Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Florida, and a degree in management from Park Military College. He saw Skylab fall while stationed in the Virgin Islands in 1978, and a few years later saw the first space shuttle lift off a mile from his office at Kennedy Space Center.
Usually stationed in remote places, he became known for accomplishing large construction projects under difficult conditions. As an Operations Chief, he served in duty stations at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, and other exotic places. He has a diverse, life-long interest in science and engineering, and is an avid reader, writer and scientist. He collects ancient texts on science and engineering, and lives with his wife Dottie in Austin.
Biography provided by the author, June 2004.