Kraft died in Houston but no other information about the circumstances were released.
Christopher C. Kraft Jr. was born on February 28, 1924, in Phoebus, Virgina, now part of Hampton. In high school, he played baseball, drums and was involved in the bugle corps. In 1941, Kraft attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute (now known as Virginia Tech) and studied mechanical engineering.
As students around him joined the military, he tried to enlist in the Navy in 1942 but was declared unfit for service due to his right hand being severally burned as a child. The injury didn’t hamper his passion for sports and he joined VPI baseball team, where he played catcher.
After being inspired by an elective course, Kraft majored in aeronautical engineering and graduated in 1944. He married his high school sweetheart, Betty Anne Turnbull, in 1950. They have a son and a daughter, Gordon and Kristi-Anne.
In 2011, NASA named its Building 30 Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in his honor, “Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., Mission Control Center.”
“We stand on his shoulders as we reach deeper into the solar system, and he will always be with us on those journeys,” Bridenstine said.
CNN’s Ashley Strickland and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.