First American to orbit the earth, dead at age 95

Mission accomplished, John Glenn.

The decorated fighter pilot who became a national hero in 1962 as the first American to orbit the earth died Thursday at the age of 95.

Glenn, the last survivor of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, was hospitalized for more than a week before his death at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said his spokesman Hank Wilson.

President Obama recalled Glenn — who embarked on his second space mission at age 77 — as a man who “lifted the hopes of a nation.”

Glenn “always had the right stuff, inspiring generations of scientists, engineers, and astronauts who will take us to Mars and beyond — not just to visit, but to stay,” the president said. “On behalf of a grateful nation, Godspeed, John Glenn.”

Glenn was survived by Annie, his childhood sweetheart, and wife of 73 years. She wore her $125 engagement ring across seven decades after Glenn popped the question in 1942.

Glenn went on to become a four-term Democratic senator from Ohio and a presidential candidate in 1984. And to the very end, the man who helped America catch up to the Russians in the race to space remained modest about his accomplishments.

Source NYDAILIYNEWS

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