John Glenn, the First American to Orbit Earth and Space Age Legend, Dies at 95

John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, former U.S. Senator, and space age legend has died at 95 after being hospitalized for more than a week.

Glenn’s remarkable life took him through two theaters of war as a pilot, into space as a civilian, and then into the United States Senate as an elected official. Glenn had an aviation and adventure resume that is without equal. In 1962, Glenn was the first American to enter orbit in space. In 1998 he became the oldest person to go into space.

ALSO: Right Stuff, Wrong Time[1]

Glen likely would have made it to the moon as well, had then president John F. Kennedy not declared him too valuable an asset to be sent into space again.

A combat pilot during WWII and Korea, Glenn flew over 150 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross five times. He was one of a few hundred selected for the Mercury program back in the 1950s.

MORE: What It Feels Like to Get Launched Into Space[2]

Glenn left NASA in the 1960s and became a senator in 1974 and remained there for four terms. He spent the last 73 years of his life married to his wife, Annie.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Glenn will be buried near Washington, D.C., at Arlington National Cemetery in a private service, after lying in the Ohio state house for a day.


  1. ^ ALSO: Right Stuff, Wrong Time (
  2. ^ MORE: What It Feels Like to Get Launched Into Space (
back to top