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John Glenn, first American to orbit the Earth, dies aged 95

By Seth Borenstein

Former astronaut and US Senator 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 of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs said Glenn died yesterday afternoon at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.

"John Glenn is, and always will be, Ohio's ultimate hometown hero, and his passing is an occasion for all of us to grieve," said Ohio Governor John Kasich.

"As we bow our heads and share our grief with his beloved wife, Annie, we must also turn to the skies, to salute his remarkable journeys and his long years of service to our state and nation."

Glenn was the third US astronaut in space and the first to get into orbit. He circled Earth three times.

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, aged 77, aboard space shuttle Discovery.

He was the last survivor of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and is survived by his wife of 73 years, Annie.

He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

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