American Hero Astronaut John Glenn DiesScreen Shot 2016-12-08 at 4.03.20 PM
Early Thursday afternoon, former astronaut, former aviator and former U.S. Senator John Glenn died at the age of 95.
Glenn died at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus surrounded by his family.
“John Glenn is, and always will be, Ohio’s ultimate hometown hero, and his passing today is an occasion for all of us to grieve,” Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich told the Columbus Dispatch. “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.”
“The Ohio State University community deeply mourns the loss of John Glenn, Ohio’s consummate public servant and a true American hero. He leaves an undiminished legacy as one of the great people of our time,” Michael Drake, president of Ohio State University, said in a statement.
Glenn was hospitalized more than a week ago and has been battling health issues since receiving a stroke two years ago.
Glenn’s death was confirmed by Hank Wilson, communications director of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University.
A public memorial service will be held at Ohio State University’s Mershon Auditorium and he will later be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Glenn was one of the “Mercury Seven,” a group of military test pilots selected y NASA to become the United States’ first astronauts as well as fly the Project Mercury aircraft.
He later became the fifth person to ever fly into space when on February 20, 1962, he flew the Friendship 7 and became the first American to orbit the earth.
He later won the election to become a United States Senator in 1974 and served in the Senate in Ohio until 1999.
When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, John Glenn quit college and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He later enlisted as a United States Navy aviation cadet.
Glenn also flew 149 combat missions in World War II and Korea as well as flying alongside baseball legend Ted Williams. Overall, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross six times and was awarded the Air Medal with 18 award stars.