One of New Jersey's most famous sons has walked on the moon, served our country during the Korean War, had an award crafted in his image and - as if all that were not enough - guest-starred on "The Simpsons."

Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin's giant leap to the moon took place 40 years ago, on July 20, 1969. But it began with the small steps he took as a baby born Jan. 20, 1930, in Montclair, Essex County.

In between, Aldrin graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, flew missions in Korea for the Air Force, got his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and participated in the first successful spacewalk.

Since the moon landing 40 years ago, Aldrin has kept busy as an author - lending his name to eight books, including memoirs to be released this year - guest lecturer and researcher holding multiple space-technology patents. In 1998 he founded the nonprofit ShareSpace Foundation to teach children about space.

The Garden State honored Aldrin in 2008, inducting him into the inaugural class of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, alongside honorees as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, Harriet Tubman and Albert Einstein.

Just last month, Aldrin showed his versatility again by releasing the rap single "Rocket Experience," produced by Snoop Dog.