John Glenn – the 1st American to orbit Earth – has died

The All-American hero was 95.
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The first American to orbit Earth has died.

John Glenn died Thursday at the age of 95, the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University confirmed. He became an All-American hero after his 1962 orbit around the Earth, which helped lead him to the U.S. Senate, where he represented Ohio for four terms.

His career in flight also included being a fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean war. As a test pilot where he set a transcontinental speed record, the school says. And after his 24 years on Capitol Hill, he returned to space in the shuttle Discovery – he was 77 years old, making him the oldest person ever to go into space.

The Associated Press called Glenn the "ultimate and uniquely American space hero," noting his smile, his 70-year marriage, and his "nerves of steel." Not to mention all the things that have been named after him: a school, an airport, a space center, and children.

"John spent his life breaking barriers," President Barack Obama said in a statement, adding: "John always had the right stuff, inspiring generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts ... The last of America's first astronauts has left us, but propelled by their example we know that our future here on Earth compels us to keep reaching for the heavens."

"As we bow our heads and share our grief with his beloved wife, Annie, we must also turn to the skies, to salute his remarkable journeys and his long years of service to our state and nation," Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted Thursday.

Memorial services haven't been announced. When they are, they'll be posted online here. In the meantime, people are invited to share their memories of Glenn on the John Glenn College of Public Affairs Facebook page.

Others, from President-elect Donald Trump to Bill Nye the Science Guy, have taken to Twitter to remember Glenn and his contribution to space and politics.

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