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John Glenn, the First American Astronaut to Orbit the Earth, Dead at 95

Playing John Glenn, the First American Astronaut to Orbit the Earth, Dead at 95

American Icon John Glenn, the space pioneer who became the first American to orbit the Earth, has died. He was 95.

Read: Here's What Scott Kelly Did During His Year in Space

Glenn passed away surrounded by family and friends at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch first reported Thursday.

He is survived by Annie, his wife of 73 years. The couple had two children together, John David, 70, and Carolyn Ann, 69.

In 1962, Glenn rocketed to space on the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission and completed three orbits around Earth in a nearly five-hour excursion.

 

We are saddened by the loss of Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. He also became a U.S. senator and later, at the age of 77 when he flew on the space shuttle, he became the oldest person to fly in space. Our deepest condolences go out to his dear wife Annie, his children, and the people who were inspired by him and loved him around the world. He was a friend, an astronaut and true American hero. Godspeed, John Glenn. Ad astra. #nasa #johnglenn #ripjohnglenn #godspeedjohnglenn

A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on

Prior to his space adventure, Glenn was a Marine Corps. pilot, serving in the Korean War.

He was prompted to join the military by the attack on Pearl Harbor, the 75th anniversary of which was Wednesday. Glenn, then a college student, quit school to join the U.S. Army Air Corps., he flew 149 combat missions during his time has a fighter pilot. 

Read: Astronauts Grow First Flower Ever to Bloom in Outer Space

Following his service in the military and space, he was an Ohio senator for 24 years. In 1998 at 77 years old, he became the oldest man to travel to space.

Watch: NASA Astronaut in Orbit Chats With Child Cancer Patients Who Handpainted Her Spacesuit

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