Glenn was chosen as one of the first American astronauts for NASA’s space program in 1959. On February 20, 1962, he became the first American to orbit the Earth in a space flight. Glenn returned to NASA as a senior executive after his space mission. He left NASA in 1974 to run for the United States Senate.
He was a US Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, engineer, businessman, and politician who excelled in a variety of fields. Glenn, who circled the Earth three times in 1962, holds the distinction of being the first American to do so, as well as the third American in space.
Education and Childhood of John Glenn
The American legend, John Herschel Glenn Jr., was born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio. John Herschel Glenn Sr, his father, was a plumber, and Clara Teresa Glenn, his mother, was a teacher. Glenn developed an interest in flying at a young age and joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1941.
He attended primary and secondary school in New Concord, Ohio. Glenn was a member of the varsity football team at New Concord High School. Glenn enrolled at Muskingum College to study chemistry after graduating from high school in 1939.
Through the Civilian Pilot Training Program, Glenn received a private pilot license and a free physics course credit in 1941. Glenn enrolled in the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in 1942 and was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1943.
Following advanced training, he joined Marine Fighter Squadron 155, where he spent a year flying F-4U fighters in the Marshall Islands. Glenn received an honorary LL.D. from Muskingum University in 1961, and he later received honorary doctorates from five other universities.
Career and Professional Highlights
Glenn joined the US Naval Reserve in 1942 and the US Marine Corps in 1943. He flew 59 missions in the South Pacific during WWII and 90 missions in the Korean War, where he shot down three MiGs in the closing days of the war. Glenn had applied to fly the F-86 Sabre jet fighter-interceptor with the US Air Force before going to Korea.
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He graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland, in 1954, and worked on F-8 fighter test projects. In 1957, he flew from California to New York in three hours and 23 minutes, completing the first transcontinental flight and setting a transcontinental speed record. In 1959, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Did He Become the First American Astronaut?
Glenn joined NASA and was recruited for Project Mercury when America decided to send humans into space. The space race had begun with the Soviet Union’s launch of the first artificial satellite. Glenn was the oldest of the ‘Mercury Seven,’ a group of US military pilots chosen in 1959 to be the first astronauts.
Glenn’s space capsule lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on February 20, 1962. Glenn was catapulted into space after the capsule completed three orbits and landed nearly five hours later in the Atlantic Ocean. He rose to the status of a national hero.
In 1964, John Glenn resigned from NASA to run for the Democratic Party’s nomination for a US Senate seat in Ohio. However, due to an accident, he was forced to withdraw from the campaign. He joined Royal Crown Cola International Ltd. in 1965 as vice president for domestic corporate development and later as president. He was finally elected as a US senator from Ohio in 1974, and he was re-elected three times after that.
Glenn returned to space in 1998 as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery for a nine-day mission. Glenn, at the age of 77, participated in various experiments on the Spacehab module, becoming the oldest person to travel in space at the time.
John Glenn’s Net Worth:
John Glenn is a well-known Astronaut with a $5 million net worth. He was born in Ohio on July 18, 1921. John is also best known as an astronaut and senator who was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962 and the oldest person to go to space in 1998.
Among other honors, he received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. John was born in the United States. During the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, he enlisted in the military.
Who Was John Glenn’s Partner?
Glenn and his wife, Anna Margaret (Annie) Castor, had known each other since they were toddlers. Glenn and Annie were married on April 6, 1943, in New Concord, Ohio, in a Presbyterian ceremony. They were married for 73 years. John David and Carolyn Ann were the couple’s two children, and they had two grandchildren.
Glenn was admitted to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s James Cancer Hospital in early December 2016, where he died a few days later.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Didn’t John Glenn Fly Apollo?
Glenn’s mission was repeatedly delayed, causing concern and anxiety. Originally scheduled for December 1961, the launch was pushed back to January 13 due to problems with the new Atlas rocket that would serve as the space capsule’s launching pad.
Do Glenn and Shepard Get Along?
Yes. They were not only fiercely competitive with one another, but their outlooks on life were vastly different. Glenn was a moralist who sought to live an exemplary life.