AKA John Herschel Glenn, Jr.
Birthplace: Cambridge, OH
Location of death: Columbus, OH
Cause of death: unspecified
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Astronaut, Politician
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: First American to orbit earth
Military service: USMC (1942-65, WWII, Korean War)
A retired American astronaut, United States Senator, and war hero, John Glenn began his service to his country by joining the Marine Corps in 1942. He served in WWII (59 combat missions, multiple decorations) and Korea (63 missions) and served briefly as an Air Force exchange pilot (27 missions). In Korea he was also credited with shooting down 3 enemy MiG's in the final 9 days of fighting.
In July 1957 Glenn performed the first transcontinental flight at supersonic speed, flying from Los Angeles to New York in 3 hours and 23 minutes. In 1959 he joined the space program as a Project Mercury Astronaut, and on 20 February 1962 he became the first American to orbit the Earth (Mercury-Atlas 6). In his Friendship 7 capsule Glenn completed three orbits with a maximum altitude of 162 miles and an orbital velocity of approximately 17,500 miles per hour.
In 1964 Glenn resigned from NASA and made an unsuccessful bid for the Senate. The following year, 1965, he retired from the Marine Corps and took up life as a business executive. In 1974 he again ran for Senator of Ohio, this time successfully. He was re-elected to three more terms, leaving office in 1999. During his terms of office he served as chairman on the Committee on Governmental Affairs (100th-103rd Congresses) and was involved in legislation surrounding the control of weapons of mass destruction and the export of nuclear matter.
In 1998 Senator Glenn returned to space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery as a crew member of the STS-95 mission. Glenn served as Payload Specialist 2, on the 9-day mission with a special focus on the interaction of weightlessness and aging on the body. Glenn and fellow crew members Curtis Brown Jr., Steven Lindsey, Scott F. Parazynski, Stephen K. Robinson, Chiaki Mukai (NASDA), and Pedro Duque (ESA) completed the mission in 134 Earth orbits, flying 3.6 million miles in 213 hours and 44 minutes. Glenn was then 77 years old, the oldest person ever to fly in Space. In his lifetime, he has logged roughly 9,000 hours of flying time, of which 3,000 were in jet aircraft.
Glenn continues to be an active voice in public affairs, speaking out against the Bush administration's plans to cancel all NASA research not directed toward building a lunar base to put men on Mars. He currently spearheads the John Glenn Institute of Public Service and Public Policy, encouraging young people to take an active and capable role in American politics.
Glenn has received numerous awards and honors including the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and six presentations of the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was portrayed in the 1983 film The Right Stuff by actor Ed Harris, though Glenn claims the film does not represent the reality. A collection of his personal papers and mementos are archived in Ohio State University's John Glenn collection.
Father: John Herschel Glenn
Mother: Clara Sproat
Wife: Anna Margaret Castor (m. 6-Apr-1943, one son, one daughter)
High School: New Concord High School, New Concord, OH
University: BS Engineering, Muskingum College, OH
US Senator, Ohio 1975-99
Alfalfa Club 1975, president
American Astronautical Society Fellow
Challenger Center for Space Science Education Council of Advisors
Close Up Foundation Board of Advisors
Explorers Club 6-Mar-1962
Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation Board of Directors
Joe Foss Institute National Advisory Board
National Space Club
National Osteoporosis Foundation Honorary Board of Trustees
National Space Society Board of Governors
Air Medal with 18 clusters
National Aviation Hall of Fame 17-Dec-1969
Congressional Space Medal of Honor 1978
Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses 1990
Distinguished Flying Cross (six times)
Silver Buffalo 1965
Kentucky Colonel 20-Feb-1962
Wedding: William Cohen and Janet Langhart (1996)
Author of books:
John Glenn: A Memoir (1999)
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