John Glenn, the last of the “original” 7 American astronauts died today, December 8th 2016 at 95 in Columbus Ohio. Hailed as a national hero and a symbol of the space age,John Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962 and 36 years later he became the oldest man to fly into space at the venerable age of 77.
John Glenn will be forever an American symbol and a role model for the generations to come, as he was twice an astronaut, 4 times a US Senator, once a presidential front runner and flew 149 combat missions in World War 2 and Korea, where he earned the nickname “Old Magnet Ass” as he was incredibly skilled at landing the airplane regardless of the weather conditions, even with the tires blown and filled with bullets. However, Glenn is best known for his 3 tours around the Earth on February 20, 1962 as the first American astronaut to orbit the planet.
In 1962, Glenn won a huge parade in Lower Manhattan, which ended up leaving 3.5 million metric tons of ticker tape all over the streets and he managed to do it again in 1998 after his successful 9 days trip on Discovery, filling the Big Apple with well wishers .
John Glenn was a Mercury astronaut and a maverick test pilot, but he later became famous as an advocate for moderation while he served his fellow citizens in the US Senate and in the Democratic Party, warning the world against the dangers of nuclear proliferation after he explored the frontiers of the space as a symbol of a nation eager for challenge.
In many ways, John Glenn symbolizes the American dream of the fifties, as he lived the classic American life. He grew up as the son of a blue collar/middle class American worker, his father was a plumber and Glenn spent his childhood in New Concord, Ohio.
After living an incredibly rich and healthy life, Glenn was pronounced dead this afternoon at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. John Glenn died after battling with cancer, surrounded by his family and he was survived by his 73 years old beloved wife Annie.
Ohio’s Governor John R. Kasich said it best, let me quote him on that:
“As we bow our heads and share our grief with his beloved wife, Annie, we must also turn to the skies, to salute his remarkable journeys and his long years of service to our state and nation.
Though he soared deep into space and to the heights of Capitol Hill, his heart never strayed from his steadfast Ohio roots. Godspeed, John Glenn!”