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Posted: December 07, 2016

Memorial planned for astronaut, U.S. Sen. John Glenn

John Glenn: American Hero

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            Memorial planned for astronaut, U.S. Sen. John Glenn
(Getty Images)

            Memorial planned for astronaut, U.S. Sen. John Glenn
John Glenn, file photo

            Memorial planned for astronaut, U.S. Sen. John Glenn
John Glenn, file photo

By Breaking News Staff

COLUMBUS —

UPDATE @ 2:54 p.m. (Dec. 9):

President Barack Obama has ordered flags at half-staff through the burial of John Glenn on all public buildings and grounds.

UPDATE @ 12:36 p.m. (Dec. 9):

Late space hero and former U.S. Sen. John Glenn will lie in state in the Ohio Statehouse and a memorial service is being planned at Ohio State University, the Associated Press reports.

Hank Wilson of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs in Columbus said the date and time are still being worked out but the public viewing and other services are expected to take place early next week. A “celebration of life” will be at OSU’s Mershon Auditorium.

Burial is being planned at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington.

UPDATE @ 3:20 p.m. (Dec. 8):

John Glenn has died at the age of 95 at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

RELATED: John Glenn, the ‘last true national hero,’ dead at 95

Photos: John Glenn through the years

INITIAL REPORT:

John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth and who later became a U.S. senator for Ohio, has been a patient at the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University for a little more than a week, according to several reports.

According to those same media reports, the reason for his being admitted has not been made clear, but Hank Wilson, a spokesman for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State, said it does not necessarily mean Glenn has cancer.

“Anybody who’s 95, any illness is always bad, Wilson said.

According to Cleveland.com, Glenn’s health has declined the last few years and he had heart valve replacement surgery in 2014.

Late Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, urged the public to send love to the Glenn family while also respecting the family’s request for privacy.

“Connie and I ask Ohioans to join us in sending our love to John and Annie Glenn and their children and to respect their family’s privacy at this difficult time.”

According to the Associated Press, when Glenn spoke at the renaming ceremony for the Columbus, Ohio, airport, he said some of his eyesight had been lost because of macular degeneration and a small stroke.

Glenn, born July 18, 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio, enlisted in the Navy as an aviation cadet in March 1942 following the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.

On April 6, 1943, he married the former Anna Margaret Castor, his childhood playmate and high school sweetheart. They went on to have two children, Carolyn Ann Glenn and John David Glenn, and have two grandchildren.

Before making history in space, Glenn set the transcontinental speed record from Los Angeles to New York in July 1957: Three hours and 23 minutes.

Glenn received orders for combat duty in Korean War in 1953, flying 63 missions with Marines and 27 missions as an exchange pilot with the U.S. Air Force.

He became a Marine test pilot in 1954. In 1965, Glenn retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel.

Glenn made history as the first American to orbit Earth in 1962, piloting the Mercury-Atlas 6 “Friendship 7” spacecraft and completing three orbits during the five-hour flight.

Initially running for the U.S. Senate in 1964, he was forced to bow out of the running in the primaries when he suffered a head injury in an accident. Once he recovered, he became a vice president then president at Royal Crown Cola.

He became a Democratic senator representing Ohio in 1974 and served until 1998, completing four terms. He became the oldest man to fly in space when he served as a payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1998. That 9-day mission was accomplished in 134 Earth orbits.

Reported by Kelcie Willis, Cox Media National Content Desk. Dayton Daily News Staff Writer Laura A. Bischoff contributed.


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