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Mercury Seven Astronaut John Glenn Dies at 95 in Columbus, Ohio

Glenn was an American aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio.

 

December 12, 2016

Glenn was an American aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio.

John Herschel Glenn Jr., 95 has died, reports the Washington Post. Cause of death was not immediately disclosed, but was rumored to be cancer.

Glenn was an American aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio. He was one of the "Mercury Seven" group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America's first astronauts and fly the Project Mercury spacecraft.

On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth and the fifth person in space, after cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov and the sub-orbital flights of Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom. Glenn was the earliest-born American to go to orbit, and the second earliest-born man overall after Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Beregovoy. Glenn received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, and was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990. With the death of Scott Carpenter on October 10, 2013, Glenn became the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven.

Glenn resigned from NASA on January 16, 1964, and the next day announced plans to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Ohio; however, a bathroom fall which resulted in a concussion caused him to withdraw from the race in March. He retired from the Marine Corps on January 1, 1965. A member of the Democratic Party, he finally won election to the Senate in 1974 and served through January 3, 1999. With the death of Edward Brooke on January 3, 2015, Glenn became the oldest living former United States Senator.

He was one of the "Mercury Seven" group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America's first astronauts and fly the Project Mercury spacecraft.

On October 29, 1998, while still a sitting senator, he became the oldest person to fly in space, and the only one to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs, when at age 77, he flew as a Payload Specialist on Discovery mission STS-95. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

On December 7, 2016, a spokesman for The Ohio State University announced that Glenn was hospitalized at the James Cancer Hospital at The Ohio State University, having been admitted "more than a week" before. The spokesman indicated he did not know Glenn's condition or diagnosis, and cautioned that his hospitalization did not necessarily mean that Glenn had cancer.

A family source said that Glenn was in declining health, that his condition was grave, and that Annie Glenn and his children and grandchildren had joined him at the hospital.[54] Glenn died December 8, 2016 at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.

 

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