John Herschel Glenn Jr

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John Herschel Glenn Jr

John Herschel Glenn Jr Short Bio

John Herschel Glenn Jr. (Cambridge, Ohio, July 18, 1921 – Columbus, Ohio, December 8, 2016) was an American astronaut, military pilot and politician. He was the third American to fly into space after Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom, and the first to orbit over Earth, in 1962, three times. In 1998 he returned to space at the age of 77; Until now, he has been the oldest person to do so. He served as Senator for Ohio from 1974 to 1999. In 1999, he received, along with his companions in the space shuttle, the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation. Prior to joining NASA, he was a distinguished combat pilot during World War II and the Korean War, with five Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen groups.

It was one of the “Mercury Seven” a group of military pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to be the first American astronaut. On February 22, 1962, Glenn flew in the Friendship 7 mission (Friendship 7) and was the first American to orbit the earth and the fifth person in space. Glenn received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978 and was elected to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990. He was the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven after the death of Scott Carpenter.

Glenn retired from NASA in 1964, and announced plans to compete for a place in the United States Senate for the State of Ohio. Member of the Democratic Party, he won his first Senate election in 1974 and remained until January 3, 1999.

He retired from the Marine Corps in 1965, after 23 years in the military, with about 50 medals and awards, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. In 1998, while still a senator, he was the oldest person to fly in space and the only one to fly in both programs: the Mercury and Space Shuttle as a member of the Discovery space crew. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

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