John Herschel Glenn Jr. - Astronaut

John Herschel Glenn Jr. was born on July 18, 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio. He is an American astronaut, Marine Corps fighter pilot, ordained Presbyterian elder, corporate executive and politician. He was the third American to fly in space and in 1998, at the age of 77, he was the oldest person to fly in space.

Shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Glenn enlisted in the Naval Aviation Cadet Program and became a Marine pilot. He flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific during World War II. When the Korean conflict began, Glenn asked for combat duty and flew 63 missions. For his total of 149 missions during the two wars, he received many decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross six times.

Glenn's experience and skill made him a logical candidate for the astronaut corps being formed during 1958. In 1959, NASA selected him as one of the first seven astronauts in the U.S. space program. On February 20, 1962, atop an Atlas rocket, he rode into space and piloted the Friendship 7 spacecraft around the globe three times, becoming the first American to orbit the earth.

Raised in Cambridge and well as New Concord, Ohio, Glenn married his childhood sweetheart, Anna Margaret Caster. They are the parents of two children, David and Carolyn.

John H. Glenn 1998

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