Annie Glenn

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Annie Glenn
Annie Glenn in 1965.jpg
Glenn in 1965
Born Anna Margaret Castor
(1920-02-17) February 17, 1920 (age 98)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Alma mater Muskingum University
John Glenn
(m. 1943; d. 2016)
Children 2

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

Early life and education[edit]

Anna Margaret Castor was born on February 17, 1920 in Columbus, Ohio to parents Homer and Margaret Castor.[1] Her father was a dentist.[2] In 1923, the Castor family moved to New Concord, Ohio.[1] There, Castor became childhood friends with John Glenn; the pair later became high school sweethearts. After graduating from high school, Castor attended Muskingum College where she majored in music and education[1] with a minor in secretarial skills.[3] She graduated in 1942.[1] Even though she received an offer for a pipe organ scholarship from the Juilliard school of music, Castor declined the offer,[4] choosing instead to stay in Ohio with Glenn. Castor and Glenn were married on April 6, 1943.[1]

Annie and John Glenn arriving at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam - 1965

Speech impairment[edit]

Like her father before her, Glenn has experienced a speech stutter throughout her life.[1] When she was young, it was determined that her stutter was present in eighty-five percent of her verbal utterances.[5] At age 53, Glenn found out about and attended an intensive three-week treatment course at Hollins Communications Research Institute in Roanoke, Virginia to help with her dysfluency.[5] After attending the course, her speech was greatly improved,[4] however, she does not consider herself "cured" of stuttering.[1] After attending the treatment course, she was able to interact verbally with others in a way that had been previously impossible.[3] In time, she was able to give speeches at public events[1] and at rallies in relation to her husband's political career.[3]

Personal life and activities[edit]

At the time of her husband's death in December 2016, Annie and John Glenn had been married for 73 years and eight months. During the course of their marriage, the couple had two children and two grandchildren. Glenn's children are: John David, born in 1945, and Carolyn Ann, born in 1947.[1]

Activities and involvements[edit]

Organizations in which she is involved 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.

Awards and honors[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7]

Portrayals in popular culture[edit]

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. ^ Ohio State University Libraries, Ohio Congressional Archives
  3. ^ a b c MacPherson, Myra; MacPherson, Myra (1984-02-23). "The Unsinkable Annie Glenn". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  4. ^ a b "John Glenn College of Public Affairs | Annie Glenn". Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "NSASTUTTER.ORG" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  7. ^ "Ohio State to rename 17th Avenue in honor of John and Annie Glenn; The Ohio State University". 2015-11-05. Retrieved 2016-05-26.