John Glenn, the First American to Orbit the Earth, Has Died at 95

Watch this video tribute to the hero astronaut-turned-senator.
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Watch this video tribute to the hero astronaut-turned-senator.

Former astronaut and Ohio senator John Glenn has died at age 95. Glenn was an icon of the 20th century, his place in history secured the moment he became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. 

Glenn remained an astronaut after his legendary flight until 1964, when he resigned and declared his intention to enter politics. The former Marine and pilot was not elected a senator from his home state until 1974. 

He remained in the senate until 1999. While still a sitting senator, Glenn went back to space as the oldest astronaut in history when in October, 1998 he flew on the shuttle Discovery

Glenn often flirted with the presidency and vice presidency but in the end his legacy was as a Senate stalwart and legendary astronaut.

His exploits were famously chronicled in Tom Wolfe's classic book The Right Stuff, which inspired the 1983 movie of the same name, in which Glenn was played by Ed Harris.

Glenn passed away at the James Cancer Hospital in Ohio while under treatment for one of several major health problems. RIP to a true American hero. 

h/t NBC