Annie Glenn

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Annie Glenn
Annie and John Glenn 1965.jpg
Annie and John Glenn in 1965
Born Anna Margaret Castor
(1920-02-17) February 17, 1920 (age 97)
Columbus, Ohio, United States
Alma mater Muskingum University
Spouse(s) John Glenn (m. 1943; his death 2016)
Children 2
Annie and John Glenn in 1965

Anna Margaret "Annie" Glenn (née Castor; born February 17, 1920) is the widow of astronaut and Senator John Glenn and is an advocate for people with disabilities and communication disorders.

Personal life and education[edit]

Annie was born in Columbus, Ohio.[1] Her family moved to New Concord, Ohio, in 1923,[1] where, as a young child, Annie became friends with John Glenn, and later the two were high school sweethearts. After graduating from public schools, she attended Muskingum University (then Muskingum College) where she majored in music and education[1] and minored in secretary skills.[2] She graduated in 1942.[1] She received an offer for a pipe organ scholarship from Juilliard, but declined the offer,[3] choosing instead to stay in Ohio with John. The two were married on April 6, 1943.[1] Together, they have two children—John David (born 1945) and Carolyn Ann (born 1947)--and two grandsons.[1]

Speech impairment[edit]

Glenn has had a severe stuttering problem throughout her life (as did her father).[1] When she was young, she had an 85 percent stutter (meaning she stuttered on 85 percent of the words she said).[4] She was 53 when she found out about an intensive three-week treatment course at the Hollins Communications Research Institute in Roanoke, Virginia.[4] After attending the course, her stuttering was vastly improved[3] though she does not consider herself to be "cured".[1] She was then able to have routine interactions that she hadn't been able to before—shopping, talking on the phone, buying bus tickets, etc.,[2] and was later able to give speeches at public events[1] and at rallies for her husband's political career.[2]


In 1983, she received the first national award of the American Speech and Hearing Association for “providing an inspiring model for people with communicative disorders.”[1] In 1987, the National Association for Hearing and Speech Action awarded the first annual Annie Glenn Award for achieving distinction despite a communication disorder.[1] Glenn presented the award to James Earl Jones as its first recipient.[1] She was inducted into the National Stuttering Association Hall of Fame in 2004.[5] In 2015, The Ohio State University renamed 17th Avenue (on its campus) to Annie and John Glenn Avenue. The road is located in close proximity to the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and crosses through the heart of The Ohio State University’s academic core.

Glenn is an adjunct professor with Ohio State’s Speech Pathology Department. In 2009, the university awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Public Service to recognize her work on behalf of children and others. The department awards the “Annie Glenn Leadership Award” annually to someone who has displayed innovative and inspirational work in speech/language pathology.[6]


Organizations of which she is a member include:

  • Delta Gamma Theta Sorority (Muskingum College)
  • The Ohio Board of Child Abuse
  • The Board of Columbus (Ohio) Speech and Hearing Center
  • The Society of Sponsors
  • The Board of Trustees of Muskingum College
  • The Advisory Panel of the Central Ohio Speech and Hearing Association
  • The Advisory Board for the National Center for Survivors of Childhood Abuse
  • The Board for the National First Ladies' Library
  • The National Deafness and other Communication Disorders Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health.


Glenn was played by Mary Jo Deschanel in the 1983 movie The Right Stuff. The film highlighted her stuttering problem, particularly in a scene involving then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson during the buildup to John Glenn's Friendship 7 flight. In the 2015 ABC-TV series The Astronaut Wives Club, Annie is portrayed by Azure Parsons.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Annie Glenn". Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  2. ^ a b c MacPherson, Myra; MacPherson, Myra (1984-02-23). "The Unsinkable Annie Glenn". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  3. ^ a b "John Glenn College of Public Affairs | Annie Glenn". Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  4. ^ a b "Annie Glenn: 'When I called John, he cried. People just couldn't believe that I could really talk.'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  5. ^ "NSASTUTTER.ORG" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  6. ^ "Ohio State to rename 17th Avenue in honor of John and Annie Glenn; The Ohio State University". 2015-11-05. Retrieved 2016-05-26.