John Herschel Glenn, Jr. (born July 18, 1921) is a retired United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States senator. He was the first American to orbit the Earth and the fifth person in space, after cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov and fellow Mercury Seven astrononauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom. Glenn was a combat aviator in the Marine Corps and one of the Mercury Seven, who were the elite U.S. military test pilots selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to operate the experimental Mercury spacecraft and become the first American astronauts. He flew the Friendship 7 mission on February 20, 1962. In 1965, Glenn retired from the military and resigned from NASA so he could be eligible to stand for election to public office. As a member of the Democratic Party he was elected to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate from 1974 to 1999.
Glenn received a Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990. On October 29, 1998, he became the oldest person to fly in space, and the only one to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs, when at age 77, he flew on Discovery (STS-95). Glenn and Scott Carpenter are the last living members of the Mercury Seven.
Early life and military career 
John Glenn was born in Cambridge, Ohio, to John Glenn, Sr. and Teresa (née Sproat). He was raised in New Concord, Ohio. Glenn studied science at Muskingum College, and received his private pilot's license for physics course credit in 1941.
World War II 
When the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II, he left college to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps; however, the Army did not call him up, and in March 1942 he enlisted as a United States Navy aviation cadet. He trained at Naval Air Station Olathe, Kansas, where he made his first solo flight in a military aircraft. During advanced training in 1943 at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, he was reassigned to the U.S. Marine Corps.
After completing his training, Glenn was assigned to Marine squadron VMJ-353, flying R4D transport planes. He eventually managed a transfer to VMF-155 as an F4U Corsair fighter pilot, and flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific. He saw action over the Marshall Islands, where he attacked anti-aircraft batteries and dropped bombs on Maloelap Atoll. In 1945 he was assigned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, where he was promoted to Captain shortly before the war ended.
Glenn flew patrol missions in North China with the VMF-218 squadron, until it was transferred to Guam. In 1948 he became a flight instructor at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, then attended the amphibious warfare school and received.
Korean War 
Glenn was next assigned to VMF-311, flying the new F9F Panther jet interceptor. He flew his Panther in 63 combat missions during the Korean War, gaining the dubious nickname "magnet ass" from his apparent ability to attract enemy flak. Twice he returned to base with over 250 flak holes in his aircraft. Glenn flew for a time with Ted Williams, a future hall of fame baseball player for the Boston Red Sox, as his wingman. He also flew with future Major General Ralph H. Spanjer.
Glenn flew a second Korean combat tour on an interservice exchange program with the United States Air Force, 4th Fighter Wing. He logged 27 missions in the faster F-86F Sabre, and shot down three MiG-15s near the Yalu River in the final days before the ceasefire.
Test Pilot 
Glenn returned to NAS Patuxent River, appointed to the Test Pilot School (class 12). He served as an armament officer, flying planes to high altitude and testing their cannons and machine guns. On July 16, 1957, Glenn completed the first supersonic transcontinental flight in a Vought F8U-1P Crusader.
The flight from NAS Los Alamitos, California, to Floyd Bennett Field, New York, took 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8.3 seconds. As he passed over his hometown, a child in the neighborhood reportedly ran to the Glenn house shouting "Johnny dropped a bomb! Johnny dropped a bomb! Johnny dropped a bomb!" as the sonic boom shook the town. Project Bullet, the name of the mission, included both the first transcontinental flight to average supersonic speed (despite three in-flight refuelings during which speeds dropped below 300 mph), and the first continuous transcontinental panoramic photograph of the United States. For this mission Glenn received his fifth Distinguished Flying Cross.
|John Herschel Glenn Jr.|
July 18, 1921 |
|Other occupation||Test pilot|
|Time in space||9d 02h 39 m|
|Selection||1959 NASA Group|
|Missions||Mercury-Atlas 6, STS-95|
In April 1959, despite the fact that Glenn had not earned the required college degree, he was assigned to NASA as one of the original group of seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury. During this time, he remained an officer in the United States Marine Corps.
John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, aboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962, on the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission, circling the globe three times during a flight lasting 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds. This made Glenn the third American in space and the fifth human being in space.
Perth became known worldwide as the "City of Light" when residents turned on their house, car and streetlights as Glenn passed overhead. The city repeated the act when Glenn rode the Space Shuttle in 1998. During the mission there was concern over a ground indication that his heat shield had come loose, which could allow it to fail during re-entry through the atmosphere, causing his capsule burn up. Flight controllers had Glenn modify his re-entry procedure by keeping his retrorocket pack on over the shield in an attempt to keep it in place. He made his splashdown safely, and afterwards it was determined that the indicator was faulty.
As the first American in orbit, Glenn was celebrated as a national hero, and received a ticker-tape parade in New York City, reminiscent of that given for Charles Lindbergh and other great dignitaries.
His fame and political attributes were noted by the Kennedys, and he became a personal friend of the Kennedy family. On February 23, 1962, President Kennedy escorted him in a parade to Hangar S at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where he awarded Glenn with the NASA service medal
In July 1962 Glenn testified before the House Space Committee in favor of excluding women from the NASA astronaut program. The impact of the testimony of so prestigious a hero is debatable, but no female astronaut flew on a NASA mission until Sally Ride in 1983, and none piloted a mission until Eileen Collins in 1995, more than 30 years after the hearings. In the late 1970s, Glenn is reported to have supported Shuttle Mission Specialist Astronaut Judith Resnik in her career.
Glenn resigned from NASA six weeks after the assassination of John F. Kennedy to run for office in his home state of Ohio. In 1965 he retired as a Colonel from the Marine Corps and entered the business world as an executive for Royal Crown Cola. He re-entered politics later on. Some accounts of Glenn's years at NASA suggest that Glenn was prevented from flying in Gemini or Apollo missions, either by President Kennedy, or by NASA management, on the grounds that the subsequent loss of a national hero of such stature would seriously harm or even end the manned space program. Yet Glenn resigned from the NASA Astronaut Corps on January 30, 1964, well before even the first Gemini crew was assigned.
In 1990, Glenn was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Three decades later, after serving 24 years in the United States Senate, Glenn lifted off for a second space flight on October 29, 1998, on Space Shuttle Discovery's STS-95, in order to study the effects of space flight on the elderly. At age 77, Glenn became the oldest person to go into space. Glenn states in his memoir that he had no idea that NASA was willing to send him back into space when NASA announced the decision. Three days prior to NASA's announcement, various radio stations were reporting that NASA had decided to send Glenn back into space. Glenn's participation in the nine-day mission was criticized by some in the space community as a junket for a politician. Others noted that Glenn's flight offered valuable research on weightlessness and other aspects of space flight on the same person at two points in life thirty-six years apart—by far the longest interval between space flights by the same person—providing information on the effects of spaceflight and weightlessness on the elderly, with an ideal control. Upon the safe return of the STS-95 crew, Glenn (and his crewmates) received another ticker-tape parade, making him the tenth, and latest, person to have received multiple ticker-tape parades in a lifetime (as opposed to that of a sports team). Just prior to the flight, on October 15, 1998, and for several months after, the main causeway to the Johnson Space Center, NASA Road 1, was temporarily renamed "John Glenn Parkway". Glenn was one of several NASA astronauts who experienced both a splashdown and touchdown on dry land.
Life in politics 
NASA psychologists determined during Glenn's training that he was the astronaut best suited for public life. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy suggested to Glenn and his wife in December 1962 that he should run against incumbent United States Senator Stephen M. Young of Ohio in the 1964 Democratic primary election. In 1964 Glenn announced that he was resigning from the space program to run against Young, but withdrew when he hit his head on a bathtub. Glenn sustained a concussion and injured his inner ear, and recovery left him unable to campaign. Glenn remained close to the Kennedy family and was with Robert Kennedy when he was assassinated in 1968.
In 1970, Glenn was narrowly defeated in the Democratic primary for nomination for the Senate by fellow Democrat Howard Metzenbaum, by a 51% to 49% margin. Metzenbaum lost the general election race to Robert Taft, Jr. In 1974, Glenn resisted Ohio governor John J. Gilligan and the Ohio Democratic party's demand that he run for Lieutenant Governor. Instead, he challenged Metzenbaum again, whom Gilligan had appointed to the Senate to replace William B. Saxbe, who had resigned to become Attorney General of the United States.
In the primary race, Metzenbaum contrasted his strong business background with Glenn's military and astronaut credentials, saying his opponent had "never worked for a living". Glenn's reply came to be known as the "Gold Star Mothers" speech. He told Metzenbaum to go to a veterans' hospital and "look those men with mangled bodies in the eyes and tell them they didn't hold a job. You go with me to any Gold Star mother and you look her in the eye and tell her that her son did not hold a job." Many felt the "Gold Star Mothers" speech won the primary for Glenn. Glenn won the primary by 54 to 46%. After defeating Metzenbaum, Glenn defeated Ralph Perk, the Republican mayor of Cleveland, in the general election, beginning a Senate career that would continue until 1999. In 1980, Glenn won re-election to the seat, defeating Republican challenger Jim Betts, by over 40 percent.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Glenn and Metzenbaum had strained relations. There was a thaw in 1983 when Metzenbaum endorsed Glenn for president and again in 1988 when Metzenbaum was opposed for re-election by Cleveland mayor George Voinovich. Voinovich accused Metzenbaum of being soft on child pornography. Voinovich's charges were criticized by many, including Glenn who now came to Metzenbaum's aid, recording a statement for television refuting Voinovich's charges. Metzenbaum won the election by 57 to 43%.
Savings and loan scandal 
Glenn was one of the five U.S. senators caught up in the Lincoln Savings and Keating Five Scandal after accepting a $200,000 contribution from Charles Keating. Glenn and Republican Senator John McCain were the only Senators exonerated. The Senate Commission found that Glenn had exercised "poor judgment". The association of his name with the scandal gave Republicans hope that he would be vulnerable in the 1992 campaign. Instead, Glenn defeated Lieutenant Governor Mike DeWine to keep his seat, though his percentage was reduced to a career low of 51%. DeWine used the memorable campaign slogan, "What on earth has John Glenn done?" This 1992 re-election victory was the last time a Democrat won a statewide race in Ohio until 2006; DeWine later won Metzenbaum's seat upon his retirement.
Vice-president run 
In 1976, Glenn was a candidate for the Democratic vice presidential nomination. However, Glenn's keynote address at the Democratic National Convention failed to impress the delegates and the nomination went to veteran politician Walter Mondale. Glenn also ran for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination. A November 1983 New York Times/CBS News poll found him second, supported by 41% of those polled, to Mondale's 49%.
Glenn and his staff worried about the 1983 release of The Right Stuff, a film about the original seven Mercury astronauts based on the best-selling Tom Wolfe book of the same name. The book had depicted Glenn as a "zealous moralizer", and he did not attend the film's Washington premiere on October 16, 1983. Reviewers saw Ed Harris' portrayal of Glenn as heroic, however, and his staff immediately began to emphasize the film to the press. Aide Greg Schneiders suggested an unusual strategy, similar to Glenn's personal campaign and voting style, in which he would avoid appealing to narrow special interest groups and instead seek to win support from ordinary Democratic primary voters, the "constituency of the whole". Mondale defeated Glenn for the nomination however, and he was left with $3 million in campaign debt for over 20 years before he was granted a reprieve by the Federal Election Commission. He was a potential vice presidential running mate in 1984, 1988, and 1992.
During his time in the Senate, he was chief author of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978, served as chairman of the Committee on Governmental Affairs from 1987 until 1995, sat on the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees and the Special Committee on Aging. Once Republicans regained control of the Senate, Glenn also served as the ranking minority member on a special Senate investigative committee chaired by Tennessee senator Fred Dalton Thompson that looked into illegal foreign donations by China to U.S. political campaigns for the 1996 election. There was considerable acrimony between the two very high-profile senators during the life of this committee, which reached a level of public disagreement between the five leaders of a congressional committee seldom seen in recent years, amid allegations that Glenn suppressed these issues prior to his subsequent space shuttle flight which had to be approved by President Clinton. In 1998, Glenn declined to run for re-election. Mary O. Boyle was the Democratic party nominee. She faced Republican nominee and sitting governor George Voinovich in the general election, which Voinovich won.
Public affairs institute 
Glenn helped found the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy at the Ohio State University in 1998 to encourage public service. On July 22, 2006, the institute merged with OSU's School of Public Policy and Management to become the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. Today he holds an adjunct professorship at both the Glenn School and OSU's Department of Political Science.
Personal life 
On April 6, 1943, Glenn married his childhood sweetheart, Anna Margaret Castor. They had met in New Concord and played together in the school band. They are the parents of two children. Both Glenn and his wife attended Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. He also was a member of the Stag Club Fraternity at Muskingum College.
Glenn is descended from the Glenn–Macintosh clan of Scotland. In 1963 he received a letter from a young girl in Sheffield, England, named Anne Glenn. The letter, congratulating him on his orbit around the Earth, enclosed a family tree showing that Anne's father, George Arthur Thomas Glenn, and John Glenn were cousins. The news made it into the South Yorkshire Times, and a viewed copy retained by Anne's younger sister Glenn was also one of the original owners for a Holiday Inn franchise near Orlando, Florida, that is today known as the Seralago Hotel & Suites.
Glenn's family includes his great-nephew born just three days after his historic flight, camera operator Glenn Thomas of New York, who was named in his honor.
On August 4, 2006, Glenn and his wife were injured in an automobile accident on I-270 near Columbus, Ohio, and were hospitalized for two days. Glenn suffered a "very sore chest" and a fractured sternum. Annie Glenn was treated for minor injuries. Glenn was cited for failure to yield the right-of-way.
On September 5, 2009, John and Annie Glenn dotted the "i" during Ohio State University's Script Ohio marching band performance, at the Ohio State-Navy football game halftime show. Bob Hope, Woody Hayes, Buster Douglas, E. Gordon Gee, Novice Fawcett, Robert Ries and Jack Nicklaus are the only other non-band members to have received this honor.
On February 20, 2012, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Friendship 7 flight, Glenn was surprised with the opportunity to speak with the orbiting crew of the International Space Station while Glenn was on-stage with NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden at Ohio State, where the public affairs school is named for him.
On April 19, 2012, Glenn participated in the ceremonial transfer of the retired Space Shuttle Discovery from NASA to the Smithsonian Institution for permanent display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Speaking at the event, Glenn criticized the "unfortunate" decision to end the Space Shuttle program, expressing his opinion that grounding the shuttles delayed research.
Awards and honors 
The NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland, Ohio, is named after him. Also, Senator John Glenn Highway runs along a stretch of I-480 in Ohio across from the NASA Glenn Research Center. Colonel Glenn Highway, which runs by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Wright State University near Dayton, Ohio, John Glenn High School in his hometown of New Concord, Ohio, and Col. John Glenn Elementary in Seven Hills, Ohio, are named for him as well. High Schools in Westland and Bay City, Michigan; Walkerton, Indiana; San Angelo, Texas; Elwood, Long Island, New York; and Norwalk, California were also named after him.
In 1961, Glenn received an honorary LL.D from Muskingum University, the college he had attended before joining the military in World War II. This was followed by earning his bachelor of science degree from Muskingum in 1962.
Glenn has received the following awards and decorations:
|Naval Aviator insignia|
|Naval Pilot Astronaut Badge|
|1st row||Distinguished Flying Cross with two gold award stars and two oak leaf clusters||Air Medal with three silver award stars and two oak leaf clusters||Presidential Unit Citation||Navy Unit Commendation|
|2nd row||Presidential Medal of Freedom||China Service Medal||American Campaign Medal||Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with service star|
|3rd row||World War II Victory Medal||Navy Occupation Service Medal||National Defense Service Medal||Korean Service Medal with two service stars|
|4th row||Congressional Space Medal of Honor||NASA Distinguished Service Medal||United Nations Korea Medal||Presidential Unit Citation (Korea)|
See also 
- The John Glenn Story, a 1962 documentary film.
- Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.
- Gherman Titov, the second to orbit the Earth.
- Alan Shepard, the first American in space.
- Project Mercury.
- Project Mercury Commemorative stamp.
- The Right Stuff, A book written in 1979 by Tom Wolfe, which was made into a major motion picture of the same name, in which actor Ed Harris portrayed Glenn.
- Ohio State University Biography
- Shettle USMC Air Station of WWII, p. 167
- Mersky USMC Aviation, p. 183
- "Ralph H. Spanjer, 78". Chicago Tribune. February 12, 1999.
- Glenn, John; Taylor, Nick (November 2, 1998). John Glenn: A Memoir. Bantam. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-553-11074-6.
- "Glenn Orbits the Earth". NASA. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
- (1970) Perth – a city of light Perth, W.A. Brian Williams Productions for the Government of WA, 1970 (Video recording) The social and recreational life of Perth. Begins with a 'mock-up' of the lights of Perth as seen by astronaut John Glenn in February 1962
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation (February 15, 2008). "Moment in Time – Episode 1". Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Moore, Charles (November 5, 1998). "Grandfather Glenn's blast from the past". The Daily Telegraph (UK) (London). Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- One Giant Leap—Backward, The Globe and Mail, October 12, 2002
- Kevles, Bettyann Holtzmann (2003). Almost Heaven: the Story of Women in Space. New York: Basic Books. p. 98. ISBN 0-7382-0209-6.
- Glenn, John; Taylor, Nick (November 2, 1998). John Glenn: A Memoir. Bantam. p. 231. ISBN 978-0-553-11074-6.
- List of ticker-tape parades in New York City
- John Glenn Parkwayphoto
- "John Glenn: Space tourist cheapening Alpha". CNN. May 3, 2001. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
- Raines, Howell (November 13, 1983). "John Glenn: The Hero as Candidate". The New York Times. p. 40.
- Clifford Krauss Krauss, Clifford (October 15, 1992). "In Big Re-election Fight, Glenn Tests Hero Image". New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
- Well of donors dries up for Clinton Edward Luce and Stephanie Kirchgaessner FT.com Washington May 9, 2008
- For Clinton, Millions in Debt and Few Options Michael Luo the New York Times June 10, 2008
- Fred Thompson's Big Flop Matthew Cooper Portfolio.com Washington October 15, 2007
- The history of Seralago Hotel & Suites at SeralagoHotel.com
- Landwirth, Henri. Gift of Life.
- "All About John Glenn–His Personal Life". Retrieved July 21, 2010.
- Kupperberg, Paul (2003). John Glenn. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 96. ISBN 944603, 9780823944606 Check
|isbn=value (help). Retrieved July 24, 2009.
- "The John & Annie Glenn Historic Site." John & Annie Glenn Museum Foundation. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "John Glenn appears on Emmy-award winning 'Frasier'" (press release) (March 5, 2001). Ohio State University.
- John Glenn and wife released from hospital Danna Avsec wkyc.com Columbus 2006
- "The "i"-Dot Tradition". Retrieved September 1, 2009.
- Kantele Franko (February 20, 2012). "Armstrong honors Glenn 50 years after his orbit – NASA also surprised Glenn with space station chat". MSNBC. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
- Brett Zongker (April 20, 2012). "Shuttle Discovery lands at Smithsonian". philly.com. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "List of Muskingum University Alumni.
- "Recipients of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service" Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Retrieved November 18, 2011
- "Honorary Degrees." Office of the President, Williams College.
- Tyrel Linkhorn. "Honorary doctorate degree for John Glenn" (May 24, 2010). Lima News.
Further reading 
- Fenno, Richard F., Jr. The Presidential Odyssey of John Glenn. CQ Press, 1990. 302 pp.
- Mersky, Peter B. (1983). U.S. Marine Corps Aviation — 1912 to the present. Annapolis, Maryland: The Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company of America. ISBN 0-933852-39-8.
- Shettle Jr., M. L. (2001). United States Marine Corps Air Stations of World War II. Bowersville, Georgia: Schaertel Publishing Co. ISBN 0-9643388-2-3.
- Glenn, John H.; Taylor, Nick (2000). John Glenn: A Memoir. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-58157-0.
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (April 2012)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: John Glenn|
- John Glenn at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Tara Gray. "John H. Glenn, Jr.". 40th Anniversary of NASA. Retrieved November 26, 2006.
- "COLONEL JOHN H. GLENN, JR., USMC(RETIRED)". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
- NASA — John Glenn: A Journey
- The short film John Glenn Story (1963) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- John Glenn Honored as an Ambassador of Exploration
- John & Annie Glenn Historic Site and Home
- John Glenn School of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University
- John Glenn's Official NASA Biography
- John Glenn's Flight on Friendship 7, MA-6 – as heard on KCBS Radio
- John Glenn's Flight on Friendship 7, MA-6 – complete 5-hour capsule audio recording
- John Glenn's Flight on the Space Shuttle, STS-95
- Spacefacts biography of John Glenn
- John Glenn Archive
- John Glenn: Unpublished Photos — slideshow by Life magazine
|Party political offices|
|Democratic nominee for Senator from Ohio
1974, 1980, 1986, 1992
|United States Senate|
|United States Senator (Class 3) from Ohio
Served alongside: Robert Taft, Howard Metzenbaum, Mike DeWine
|Chairperson of Senate Governmental Affairs Committee