Former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn has died in Ohio. He was 95.
Glenn became a national hero in 1962 when he became the first American to orbit the Earth.
Hank Wilson with the John Glenn School of Public Affairs says Glenn died Thursday afternoon at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.
Glenn was the third U.S. astronaut in space and the first of them to get into orbit. He circled the Earth three times. The Soviet Union had put a man into orbit a year earlier in 1961.
Glenn then spent 24 years as a Democrat from Ohio in the Senate and briefly made a run for president in 1984. He returned to space in 1998, at age 77, aboard space shuttle Discovery.
He was the last survivor of the original Mercury 7 astronauts.
Congressman Pat Tiberi, 12th district, released the following statement:
“Senator John Glenn lived a remarkable life—full of bravery, adventure and most importantly, service. After earning a reputation as one of the nation’s best pilots during WWII and the Korean War, he became the face of NASA’s fledgling space program and the first American to orbit the planet. He will be remembered as one of Ohio’s greatest and most heroic legends.
“I’m saddened to hear of his passing but I am comforted in knowing that his legacy will live on. His story will forever inspire future generations of public servants, astronauts and pioneers. Denice and I are thinking of Senator Glenn’s family, and lifting him up in our prayers.”