John Glenn, famed US astronaut dead at 95

Glenn was first person to orbit Earth

John Glenn, famed US astronaut dead at 95

World Bulletin / News Desk

Renowned former astronaut John Glenn died Thursday in a hospital in Ohio. He was 95.

Glenn was hospitalized at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus for more than a week.

Although details about the cause of death were not immediately released, he had heart valve replacement surgery in 2014.

He was the first man to orbit the Earth when in 1962 he piloted the Friendship 7 spacecraft.

"We are saddened by the loss of Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. A true American hero. Godspeed, John Glenn," NASA tweeted immediately after his death was announced.

Prior to his career at NASA, Glenn served as a Marine Corps fighter pilot during World War II and the Korean War for which he received several medals.

He also served as a Democratic U.S. senator from Ohio between 1974 and 1999.

In 1998, at the age of 77, he flew a nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest person ever to travel in space.

“With John's passing, our nation has lost an icon and Michelle and I have lost a friend,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “John always had the right stuff, inspiring generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts who will take us to Mars and beyond--not just to visit, but to stay.”

In 2012, Glenn received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama.

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