By SETH BORENSTEIN
AP Science Writer
Former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn has died in Ohio. He was 95.
Glenn became a national hero in 1962 when he became the first American to orbit the Earth.
Hank Wilson with the John Glenn School of Public Affairs says Glenn died Thursday afternoon at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.
Glenn was the third U.S. astronaut in space and the first of them to get into orbit. He circled the Earth three times. The Soviet Union had put a man into orbit a year earlier in 1961.
Glenn then spent 24 years as a Democrat from Ohio in the Senate and briefly made a run for president in 1984. He returned to space in 1998, at age 77, aboard space shuttle Discovery.
He was the last survivor of the original Mercury 7 astronauts.
Here is a look of some reactions to Glenn’s passing:
“When John Glenn blasted off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas rocket in 1962, he lifted the hopes of a nation. And when his Friendship 7 spacecraft splashed down a few hours later, the first American to orbit the Earth reminded us that with courage and a spirit of discovery there’s no limit to the heights we can reach together. … 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. On behalf of a grateful nation, Godspeed, John Glenn.” – President Barack Obama
“John Glenn is, and always will be, Ohio’s ultimate hometown hero, and his passing today is an occasion for all of us to grieve. … Though he soared deep into space and to the heights of Capitol Hill, his heart never strayed from his steadfast Ohio roots. Godspeed, John Glenn!” – Ohio Gov. John Kasich
“The Ohio State University community deeply mourns the loss of John Glenn, Ohio’s consummate public servant and a true American hero. He leaves an undiminished legacy as one of the great people of our time.” – Ohio State President Michael Drake
“What made John Glenn a great senator was the same quality that made him a great astronaut and an iconic American hero: He saw enormous untapped potential in the nation he loved and he had faith that America could overcome any challenge.” – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio
“John Glenn was an American hero. He flew 149 combat missions in two wars. He was the first American to orbit the Earth, and the longest-serving United States Senator in Ohio history.” – Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
“John Glenn’s enduring commitment to public service, devoted patriotism, and tremendous courage embody the very best of the American spirit. John’s passionate belief that everyone has an obligation to serve has inspired many people across America to contribute to their communities.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“No one in this country epitomized the nobility and patriotism of public service more than Ohio’s John Glenn.” – Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper.