John Glenn

Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.

John Glenn was born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio. He moved to New Concord, Ohio during his childhood, and grew up there, all the way through college. When WWII hit, he enrolled in the Navy, and ended up flying 59 combat missions in the war. He remained in the military, serving during the Korean War as well.

Glenn was selected by NASA in 1959. After three years of training, Glenn took off in the Friendship 7, and orbited the Earth three times. Once he returned home, he was given numerous parades and metals.

After his first historic NASA stint, John ran for the US Senate as a Democrat, and was elected in 1974. Ten years later, he attempted to earn the Democratic Presidential nomination, but wasn’t chosen.

However, John wasn’t done with space. While still a senator, he re-entered NASA and, on October 29, 1998, returned to the stars on the Space Shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest astronaut to orbit the Earth. He retired from the Senate in 1999.

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