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Profile of the Day: John Glenn

Legendary astronaut John Glenn was born on July 18, 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio. Glenn made history when he became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.

Profile of the Day: John Glenn

Image: John Glenn / NASA

John Hershel Glenn, Jr. was the son of John Hershel Glenn, Sr., owner of a plumbing business, and Clara Teresa Sproat, a teacher. In 1943, Glenn married his high school sweetheart, Anna Castor. The couple met as toddlers and were married for 73 years until his death in 2016.

In 1959, Glenn was selected as one of NASA’s original seven Mercury astronauts. On February 20, 1962, Glenn piloted the Friendship 7 spacecraft and became the first American to orbit the Earth. He orbited the Earth three times before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.

After NASA, Glenn served four consecutive terms as a U.S. Senator. Years later, he would become the oldest person to go into space when he returned at the age of 77 in the space shuttle Discovery. The purpose of the 9-day mission was to understand the effects of space flight on the aging process. After a series of experiments, researchers were able to compare Glenn’s results on the Discovery with the data collected from his mission on the Friendship 7.

Glenn died on December 8, 2016 at the age of 95.

Explore John Glenn’s family tree on Geni and share your connection to the legendary astronaut.

View John Glenn’s Geni Profile


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