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Former astronaut and senator John Glenn dies at 95

Posted at 3:38 PM, Dec 08, 2016

Former astronaut and United States Senator John Glenn passed away in a Columbus, Ohio hospital on Thursday, the Ohio State University confirmed on Thursday. He was 95 years old.

Glenn was admitted into Ohio State’s James Cancer Center last week, according to an OSU spokesperson. He was said to be surrounded by his immediate family, including wife Annie of 73 years, in his final days.

"Though he soared deep into space and to the heights of Capitol Hill, his heart never strayed from his steadfast Ohio roots," Ohio Gov. John Kasich said. "Godspeed, John Glenn."

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Not only was Glenn a former senator and astronaut, he was also an accomplished fighter pilot. He flew in missions in both World War II and the Korean War. He flew 59 missions during World War II and 90 during the Korean War.

PHOTOS | John Glenn's journey through the years

In 1957, he set the speed record flying from Los Angeles to New York in three hours and 23 minutes.

Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth in a mission in 1962. Glenn returned to America as a hero, and was given a ticker-tape parade through the streets of New York. He then returned to space in 1998 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery.

 

He also served Ohio in the US Senate from 1972 to 1998. In 1984, Glenn ran for president, attempting to gain the Democratic Party nomination. After struggling in the first series of primaries, Glenn dropped out of the race.

Earlier this year, Columbus renamed its airport the John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

Glenn's name is also synonymous with Ohio State as his name is on the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.