John Glenn


John Glenn was an important astronaut , United States military pilot , and a well- known politician who managed to orbit the Earth and fly into space and as the oldest man to have ever traveled outside of Earth. A man who represented a true legend and one of the astronauts who were part of the group on the Mercury program in the early 60s.


Personal information

  • When was he born: 07/18/1921
  • Where he was born: Cambridge, Ohio, United States
  • When he died: 12/08/2016
  • Where he died: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Who was John Glenn?

John Glenn was a renowned American astronaut who managed to make an orbital flight for the first time by completing a total of three orbits. He was also one of the United States Senators representing Ohio.


Biography of John Glenn

John Glenn was born on July 18, 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio, United States . He grew up in this place and there he received a large part of his education as a child. He later entered to study engineering and also worked in the Navy . By the time World War II ended, he was already serving as a captain and serving various missions to China.


He worked for a time as a flight instructor in Texas and was sent back to Korea on a mission. Later, after the end of this war, he returned to his position as a test pilot serving as an armaments officer. In 1957 he made a transcontinental supersonic flight and finally in 1959, he was assigned to NASA as an essential part of the project called Mercury where he served as an astronaut.

In 1970, after finishing his mission at NASA, John Glenn entered the field of politics representing the Democratic Party in Ohio. In 1974, he managed to win the post of mayor of Cleveland by being reelected for the second time. He also tried to become president of the United States in 1984 but was unsuccessful. When he turned 77, he became part of Discovery , in the mission called STS-95, thus becoming the oldest astronaut to travel to space.


John Glenn died on December 8, 2016 when he was 95 years old. His death occurred at the Wexner Medical Center , at Ohio State University located in Columbus. His funeral services were held on April 6, the day he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 


He graduated from New Condord High School in 1939 and later graduated as an engineer from Muskingum College. He also conducted several studies at the University of Maryland. He participated in the United States Naval Aviation Cadet Program.

John Glenn’s Space Race

His space career began in 1959 and in 1962 he was already making his first trip in a space capsule called Friendship 7.  This flight is considered by many to be the first step that the United States took in space exploration. On this trip, he managed to circle the earth three times, reaching a distance from the planet’s surface of 262 kilometers.

After this important mission, John Glenn became a true American hero mainly because he was able to assume with intelligence and responsibility a series of problems that arose during the trip, managing to land safely. He then continued working as a consultant to the NASA until his retirement.

In 1998, exactly on October 29 , he returned on a flight into space aboard the Discovery shuttle, becoming history again worldwide, this time for being the oldest person to fly into space because by this date he was already 77 years old .

What is it famous for?

John Glenn is famous for having managed to orbit the earth and for managing to land safely on Earth after the ship in which he was traveling had a series of mechanical defects that threatened his life, thanks to his intelligence and mental quickness, he was able to solve problems arriving safely. In addition, after finishing his career as an astronaut, he dedicated himself to politics, managing to remain in the Senate for a long time. Finally, the person was older to travel to outer space.


He married Anna Margaret Castor on April 6, 1943.


His mother was named Teresa Sproat and his father John Herschel Glenn .


Two children, David and Carolyn , were born from their marriage .


Public recognition accompanied him throughout his adult life. Some of his recognitions were the following:

  • Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in 1999.
  • The Research Center John H. Glen bears his name, one of the most important sites of NASA research.
  • He received the Flying Cross in recognition of his combat missions during World War II.
  • Several schools and educational centers have been named after him.


In addition to all the contributions he made to his aeronautical career as an astronaut, John Glenn was regarded as a hero full of courage and bravery , an example to follow that showed how the field of politics could become a truly noble profession. He was a man who served his country tirelessly, with pride and with a good attitude and sense of honor.

Presence in popular culture

The legacy and history of John Glenn remain active in popular culture and is remembered for being the astronaut longevo worldwide. His story was told in a very famous book called “The Right Stuff” written by Tom Wofe, and his life can also be found in the film called Chosen for Glory by Philip Kaufaman.


John Glenn had to pass a survival test as part of his training for NASA . He is the third American citizen to fly into space and also to be inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame . After working as an astronaut, he decided to enter the field of politics where he spent 24 years in the United States Senate . Later, he returned to space on a mission that sought to discover the possible effects of space on older adults.

John Glenn Quotes

Some of the most important phrases of John Glenn were the following:

  • As I was launched into space, a thought invaded my mind: every part of the rocket had been supplied by the lowest bidder.
  • I think the question I am constantly being asked is: how did it feel to be sitting in that capsule listening to the countdown? The answer to that is very simple. I felt just like you might feel if you were preparing for a launch on a ship with two million pieces and that those pieces had been given by the cheapest bidder on the government contract.
  • To be able to observe this type of creation in this place and not believe in God is impossible for me
  • We can feel more satisfied when we find ourselves involved in things that are bigger than ourselves.
  • One of the most important things we can do is inspire younger minds to advance science education, mathematics, and technology – sciences that will help young people take us into the next phases of space travel.
  • The moment when twilight happens is just beautiful.

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