Yes, he was. First man in space - but he died aged 34 in 1968.
(I googled too - because when I first saw moonchild's post I couldn't believe that the Yuri Gagarin that I "knew" had died at the age of 99 - he couldn't have been that old imo and he wasn't! IF he was still alive he would be 77).
Sorry guys - when I read it in Perth Now breaking news the "short" version said that Yuri Gagarin had died aged 99. I was surprised as I also thought he'd died ages ago. I just went searching for the story again but now it is a more complex story explaining that one of the engineers who worked on the original space program had died! Stupid Perth Now always screw up! http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/bre...ace-pioneer-dies/story-e6frg12u-1226222272156