John Glenn

Biden, Bill Clinton to speak at John Glenn Service
Ohio pays its respects to former senator, space pioneer

Ohio Sen. John Glenn speaks during a news conference at NASA headquarters in Washington in 1998 to announce his return to the space program and his upcoming mission on the space shuttle. In the background is a 1962 photo of Glenn in his first turn as an astronaut. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former senator, presidential candidate and space pioneer John Glenn will receive a grand, two-day commemoration in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend.  

Glenn, an member of the iconic 1960s Mercury Seven astronauts, died last week at the age of 95.

John Glenn: The Hero Who Knew What Mattered in Life
A man who understood who he was and had nothing to prove

John Glenn, right, seen here with his wife Annie and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, during Glenn’s 1975 Senate swearing-in ceremony. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid the obituaries and the tributes to John Glenn, a point of emphasis has been lost. Until Tom Wolfe published “The Right Stuff” in 1979, the original Mercury astronauts were shrouded in a patriotic haze. They were heroes — and Glenn had been elected to the Senate in 1974 — but to most Americans, they were also cardboard figures of Star-Spangled rectitude.

NASA had sold the exclusive stories of the astronauts to Life magazine for $500,000, giving each of the Mercury Seven $72,000 over three years, an unimaginable figure for a fighter jock in the early 1960s. But the trade-off was that the weekly magazine, with NASA’s encouragement, sanitized everything so each of the astronauts became less a person than a personification of Captain America.

Remembering John Glenn, Lawmaker
Modesty and calm sometimes masked killer qualities

John Glenn, D-Ohio, left, and then-Chairman Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., during a 1997 Senate Governmental Affairs hearing on improper fundraising in presidential elections. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

John Glenn is my hero and America’s hero, but he was also my boss. Senator Glenn always acted with integrity: in his marriage, in his devotion to his country, in his work with his colleagues. He was always a gentleman in the best sense.

I had the good fortune as a young child to have the measles during his February 1962 flight. We all marveled at his coolness under pressure. Subsequently, we saw all the pictures of him and his wife Annie with President Kennedy, Mrs. Kennedy and the brothers, particularly Bobby. They seemed the embodiment of Camelot.

Former Senator, Astronaut John Glenn Hospitalized
The 95-year-old was one of the original ‘Mercury Seven’

Ohio Sen. John Glenn, during a press conference at NASA headquarters in downtown Washington in January 1998, to announce his return to the space program. Glenn, who served four terms in the Senate, has been hospitalized since last week. (Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly file photo)

Former Ohio Sen. John Glenn, best known for his exploits as an astronaut in the 1960s, has been hospitalized.

Glenn’s health has declined in recent years, and the last surviving member of NASA’s Project Mercury was losing his eyesight, and had undergone open heart surgery in 2014, Cleveland.com reported.