Wed, 12 May 2021

Rare photos of Yury Gagarin in everyday life

12 Apr 2021, 20:54 GMT+10

The images of the first man in space in his cosmonaut suit have gone around the whole world. However, we still hardly know what this legendary man was like in real life.

After April 12, 1961, Yury Gagarin became a true hero and superstar. Everyone in the Soviet Union was proud of him and people were happy to see him even just from afar.

Gagarin was born into a poor family in Russia's countryside. He wasn't a very tall man, was very humble and could charm anyone with his iconic smile. Contemporaries recall that he was very easy going. He wasn't ready for the enormous fame that he suddenly found. And he remained a shy and quiet person, always decent and honest and what a true Soviet man and Soviet officer should have been.

Gagarin posing in 1965

Unknown author/MAMM/MDF

Preparing to parachute, 1960


Gagarin posing in his car, 1961

Yury Abramochkin/Sputnik

Going through morning exercises, 1961

Alexander Sergeev/Sputnik

Flexing for the cameras, 1963

Igor Snegirev/Sputnik

On holidays in Sochi, 1961

Yury Abramochkin/

Playing billiard, 1961

Alexander Sergeev/Sputnik

Fishin in his native village, 1961

Igor Snegirev/Sputnik

Gagarin waterskiing on holidays, 1965

Yury Somov/Sputnik

Gagarin in his cabinet, 1967

Alexander Mokletsov/Sputnik

Gagarin tenderly loved his wife Valentina (who passed away in March 2020) and his two daughters: Elena (which is now director of Moscow Kremlin Museums) and Galina (she became professor of economics).

Gagarin with wife Valentina and newborn Galina, 1961

Yury Abramochkin/Sputnik

Photography as a hobby, 1963

Igor Snegirev/Sputnik

Gagarin reading with his daughters, 1965

Alexander Mokletsov/Sputnik

Gagarin with daughter Galina on holidays, 1966

Alexander Mokletsov/Sputnik

Gagarin having fun with family, 1967-68


Friends and colleagues recalled that Gagarin liked to have fun and laugh. Engineer Yevgeny Shilnikov working with Gagarin recalled that the first man in space had a favorite anecdote that he liked to tell in company.

"A sparrow flies in the skies and suddenly a rocket flies towards him at a very high speed. The sparrow asks, 'Why are you flying that fast?' And the rocket replies: "If someone burns your ass, you will fly even faster!'"

Gagarin on holidays in Crimea, 1961


Cosmonauts Yury Gagarin, Valentina Tereshkova and Alexei Leonov, 1965

V. Cheredintsev/MAMM/MDF

Filming a New Year show, 1963

Yakov Khalip/Sputnik

Yury Gagarin and photographer Yury Abramochkin, 1961

Yury Abramochkin/

Gagarin playing hockey, 1963

Archive photo

Gagarin with friends on a picnic, 1963

Archive photo

Gagarin in a carnival costume, 1965


Cosmonauts Yury Gagarin (L) and Alexei Leonov in costumes during Neptune Day celebrations, 1965

Valentin Cheredintsev/TASS

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