141 Facts About John Glenn


John Glenn was the third American in space, and the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times in 1962.

FactSnippet No. 678,006

John Glenn shot down three MiG-15s, and was awarded six Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen Air Medals.

FactSnippet No. 678,007

John Glenn was one of the Mercury Seven, military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA as the nation's first astronauts.

FactSnippet No. 678,008

John Glenn received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1962, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, was inducted into the U S Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

FactSnippet No. 678,009

Aged 77, John Glenn flew on Space Shuttle Discovery's STS-95 mission, making him the oldest person to enter Earth orbit, and the only person to fly in both the Mercury and the Space Shuttle programs.

FactSnippet No. 678,010

John Glenn first flew in an airplane with his father when he was eight years old.

FactSnippet No. 678,011

John Glenn became fascinated by flight, and built model airplanes from balsa wood kits.

FactSnippet No. 678,012

John Glenn washed cars and sold rhubarb to earn money to buy a bicycle, after which he took a job delivering The Columbus Dispatch newspaper.

FactSnippet No. 678,013

John Glenn was a member of the Ohio Rangers, an organization similar to the Cub Scouts.

FactSnippet No. 678,014

John Glenn attended New Concord High School, where he played on the varsity football team as a center and linebacker.

FactSnippet No. 678,015

John Glenn made the varsity basketball and tennis teams, and was involved with Hi-Y, a junior branch of the YMCA.

FactSnippet No. 678,016

John Glenn earned a private pilot license and a physics course credit for free through the Civilian Pilot Training Program in 1941.

FactSnippet No. 678,017

John Glenn did not complete his senior year in residence or take a proficiency exam, both required by the school for its Bachelor of Science degree.

FactSnippet No. 678,018

John Glenn was not called to duty by the Army, and enlisted as a U S Navy aviation cadet in March 1942.

FactSnippet No. 678,019

John Glenn attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City for pre-flight training and made his first solo flight in a military aircraft at Naval Air Station Olathe in Kansas, where he went for primary training.

FactSnippet No. 678,020

John Glenn was promoted to first lieutenant in October 1943, and shipped out to Hawaii in January 1944.

FactSnippet No. 678,021

John Glenn received two Distinguished Flying Crosses and ten Air Medals.

FactSnippet No. 678,022

John Glenn was promoted to captain in July 1945 and ordered back to Cherry Point.

FactSnippet No. 678,023

John Glenn volunteered for service with the occupation in North China, believing it would be a short tour.

FactSnippet No. 678,024

John Glenn joined VMF-218, which was based at Nanyuan Field near Beijing, in December 1946, and flew patrol missions until VMF-218 was transferred to Guam in March 1947.

FactSnippet No. 678,025

In December 1948, John Glenn was re-posted to NAS Corpus Christi as a student at the Naval School of All-Weather Flight before becoming a flight instructor.

FactSnippet No. 678,026

John Glenn then joined the staff of the commandant of the Marine Corps Schools.

FactSnippet No. 678,027

John Glenn maintained his proficiency by flying on weekends due to only being given four hours of flying time per month.

FactSnippet No. 678,028

John Glenn received the World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, and the China Service Medal for his efforts.

FactSnippet No. 678,029

John Glenn moved his family back to New Concord during a short period of leave, and after two and a half months of jet training at Cherry Point, was ordered to South Korea in October 1952, late in the Korean War.

FactSnippet No. 678,030

John Glenn flew 63 combat missions in Korea with VMF-311, and was nicknamed "Magnet Ass" because of the number of flak hits he took on low-level close air support missions; twice, he returned to base with over 250 holes in his plane.

FactSnippet No. 678,031

John Glenn flew for a time with Marine reservist Ted Williams as his wingman.

FactSnippet No. 678,032

In June 1953, John Glenn reported for duty with the USAF's 25th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, and flew 27 combat missions in the F-86, a much faster aircraft than the F9F Panther, patrolling MiG Alley.

FactSnippet No. 678,033

John Glenn received the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Korea Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal.

FactSnippet No. 678,034

John Glenn reported to the U S Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland in January 1954, and graduated in July.

FactSnippet No. 678,035

John Glenn tested the armament of aircraft such as the Vought F7U Cutlass and F8U Crusader.

FactSnippet No. 678,036

John Glenn's office was asked to send a test pilot to Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to make runs on a spaceflight simulator, as part of research by the newly formed NASA into re-entry vehicle shapes.

FactSnippet No. 678,037

McDonnell engineers told him of the importance of lightening the vehicle as much as possible, so John Glenn began exercising to lose the 30 pounds he estimated that he was overweight.

FactSnippet No. 678,038

John Glenn was otherwise so outstanding a candidate that Colonel Jake Dill, his commanding officer at test pilot school, visited NASA headquarters to insist that John Glenn would be the perfect astronaut.

FactSnippet No. 678,039

An interview with Charles Donlan, associate director of Project Mercury, John Glenn brought the results from the centrifuge to show that he had done well on a test that perhaps no other candidate had taken.

FactSnippet No. 678,040

Donlan noticed that John Glenn stayed late at night to study schematics of the Mercury spacecraft.

FactSnippet No. 678,041

John Glenn was among the 32 of the first 69 candidates that passed the first step of the evaluation and were interested in continuing, sufficient for the astronaut corps NASA wanted.

FactSnippet No. 678,042

John Glenn was pleased while Annie was supportive, but wary of the danger; during his three years at Patuxent, 12 test pilots had died.

FactSnippet No. 678,043

John Glenn had the hottest record as a pilot, he was the most quotable, the most photogenic, and the lone Marine.

FactSnippet No. 678,044

John Glenn remained an officer in the Marine Corps after his selection, and was assigned to the NASA Space Task Group at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

FactSnippet No. 678,045

John Glenn's specialization was cockpit layout design and control functioning for the Mercury and early Apollo programs.

FactSnippet No. 678,046

John Glenn pressed the other astronauts to set a moral example, living up to the squeaky-clean image of them that had been portrayed by Life magazine, a position that was not popular with the other astronauts.

FactSnippet No. 678,047

John Glenn was the backup pilot for Shepard and Grissom on the first two crewed Project Mercury flights, the sub-orbital missions Mercury-Redstone 3 and Mercury-Redstone 4.

FactSnippet No. 678,048

John Glenn was selected for Mercury-Atlas 6, NASA's first crewed orbital flight, with Carpenter as his backup.

FactSnippet No. 678,049

John Glenn named his spacecraft, number 13, Friendship 7, and had the name hand-painted on the side like the one on his F-86 had been.

FactSnippet No. 678,050

John Glenn spent 25 hours and 25 minutes in the spacecraft performing hangar and altitude tests, and 59 hours and 45 minutes in the simulator.

FactSnippet No. 678,051

John Glenn flew 70 simulated missions and reacted to 189 simulated system failures.

FactSnippet No. 678,052

The mission, which Glenn called the "best day of his life", renewed U S confidence.

FactSnippet No. 678,053

John Glenn's flight occurred while the U S and the Soviet Union were embroiled in the Cold War and competing in the Space Race.

FactSnippet No. 678,054

John Glenn was among the first group of astronauts to be awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

FactSnippet No. 678,055

In 1962, NASA contemplated recruiting women to the astronaut corps via the Mercury 13, but John Glenn gave a speech before the House Space Committee detailing his opposition to sending women into space, in which he said:.

FactSnippet No. 678,056

In May 1965, after he left NASA, John Glenn was quoted in the Miami Herald as saying NASA "offer a serious chance for space women" as scientist astronauts.

FactSnippet No. 678,057

At 42, John Glenn was the oldest member of the astronaut corps and would likely be close to 50 by the time the lunar landings took place.

FactSnippet No. 678,058

John Glenn was still a Marine, and had plenty of unused leave time.

FactSnippet No. 678,059

John Glenn elected to use it while he waited for his retirement papers to go through.

FactSnippet No. 678,060

John Glenn was still on leave from the Marine Corps, and he withdrew his papers to retire so he could keep a salary and health benefits.

FactSnippet No. 678,061

John Glenn was on the list of potential candidates to be promoted to full colonel, but he notified the Commandant of the Marine Corps of his intention to retire so another Marine could receive the promotion.

FactSnippet No. 678,062

John Glenn was approached by RC Cola to join their public relations department, but John Glenn declined it because he wanted to be involved with a business, and not just the face of it.

FactSnippet No. 678,063

John Glenn revised their offer, and offered Glenn a vice president of corporate development position, as well as a place on the board of directors.

FactSnippet No. 678,064

John Glenn later expanded Glenn's role, promoting him to president of Royal Crown International.

FactSnippet No. 678,065

In 1968, John Glenn was in Kennedy's hotel suite when Kennedy heard he had won California.

FactSnippet No. 678,066

John Glenn was supposed to go with him to celebrate, but decided not to as there would be many people there.

FactSnippet No. 678,067

John Glenn's camp persuaded him to be thrifty during the primary so he could save money for the general election.

FactSnippet No. 678,068

John Glenn was defeated in the Democratic primary by Metzenbaum .

FactSnippet No. 678,069

Some prominent Democrats said John Glenn was a "hapless political rube", and one newspaper called him "the ultimate square".

FactSnippet No. 678,070

John Glenn remained active in the political scene following his defeat.

FactSnippet No. 678,071

John Glenn declined, denouncing their attempts as "bossism" and "blackmail".

FactSnippet No. 678,072

John Glenn's counteroffer suggested that Gilligan fill the position with someone other than Metzenbaum or John Glenn so neither would have an advantage going into the 1974 election.

FactSnippet No. 678,073

In 1970, John Glenn won most of the counties in Ohio, but lost in those with larger populations.

FactSnippet No. 678,074

John Glenn's reply became known as the "Gold Star Mothers" speech.

FactSnippet No. 678,075

John Glenn defeated Metzenbaum 54 to 46 percent before defeating Ralph Perk in the general election, beginning a Senate career which would continue until 1999.

FactSnippet No. 678,076

John Glenn was reported to be in consideration for the vice-presidential nomination because he was a senator in a pivotal state and for his fame and straightforwardness.

FactSnippet No. 678,077

Carter called John Glenn to inform him the nomination was going to another candidate, and later nominated the veteran politician Walter Mondale.

FactSnippet No. 678,078

Reporters noted that for a race he was likely to win, John Glenn was spending a lot of time and money on the campaign.

FactSnippet No. 678,079

Betts publicly stated that John Glenn's policies were part of the reason for inflation increases and a lower standard of living.

FactSnippet No. 678,080

John Glenn was projected to win the race easily, and won by the largest margin ever for an Ohio Senator, defeating Betts by over 40 percent.

FactSnippet No. 678,081

John Glenn was unhappy with how divided the country was, and thought labels like conservative and liberal increased the divide.

FactSnippet No. 678,082

John Glenn thought a more centrist president would help unite the country.

FactSnippet No. 678,083

John Glenn believed his experience as a senator from Ohio was ideal, due to the state's diversity.

FactSnippet No. 678,084

John Glenn thought that Ted Kennedy could win the election, but after Kennedy's announcement in late 1982 that he would not seek the presidency, John Glenn thought he had a much better chance of winning.

FactSnippet No. 678,085

John Glenn hired a media consultant to help him with his speaking style.

FactSnippet No. 678,086

John Glenn started out the campaign out-raising the front-runner, Mondale.

FactSnippet No. 678,087

John Glenn's campaign decided to forgo the traditional campaigning in early caucuses and primaries, and focus on building campaign offices across the country.

FactSnippet No. 678,088

John Glenn's campaign spent a significant amount of money on television advertising in Iowa, and John Glenn chose not to attend an Iowan debate on farm issues.

FactSnippet No. 678,089

John Glenn finished fifth in the Iowa caucus, and went on to lose New Hampshire.

FactSnippet No. 678,090

John Glenn's campaign continued into Super Tuesday, and he lost there as well.

FactSnippet No. 678,091

John Glenn issued a statement telling voters to reject LaRouche candidates in both Republican and Democratic primaries.

FactSnippet No. 678,092

John Glenn believed he and other Democrats were the targets of a negative campaign thought up by the GOP strategists in Washington.

FactSnippet No. 678,093

DeWine responded that he would if John Glenn would disclose how he spent the money he received from Charles Keating, fallout from John Glenn being named one of the Keating Five.

FactSnippet No. 678,094

John Glenn requested to be assigned to two committees during his first year as senator: the Government Operations Committee, and the Foreign Relations Committee.

FactSnippet No. 678,095

John Glenn was immediately assigned to the Government Operations Committee, and waited for a seat on the Foreign Relations Committee.

FactSnippet No. 678,096

In 1977, John Glenn wanted to chair the Energy, Nuclear Proliferation, and Federal Services Subcommittee of the Governmental Affairs Committee.

FactSnippet No. 678,097

Previous chairs of the Federal Services Subcommittee lost elections due in part to negative campaigns that tied in the poorly regarded mail service with the chairmen, but John Glenn accepted the offer and became the chair of both subcommittees.

FactSnippet No. 678,098

John Glenn introduced bills on energy policy to try to counter the energy crisis in the 70s.

FactSnippet No. 678,099

John Glenn introduced legislation promoting nuclear non-proliferation, and was the chief author of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978, the first of six major pieces of legislation that he produced on the subject.

FactSnippet No. 678,100

John Glenn chaired the Committee on Governmental Affairs from 1987 to 1995.

FactSnippet No. 678,101

John Glenn was made aware of the problem at the Fernald Feed Materials Production Center near Cincinnati, and soon found that it affected sites across the nation.

FactSnippet No. 678,102

John Glenn requested investigations from the General Accounting Office of Congress and held several hearings on the issue.

FactSnippet No. 678,103

John Glenn released a report on the potential costs of hazardous waste cleanup at former nuclear weapons manufacturing facilities, known as the Glenn Report.

FactSnippet No. 678,104

John Glenn spent the remainder of his Senate career acquiring funding to clean up the nuclear waste left at the facilities.

FactSnippet No. 678,105

John Glenn created legislation to mandate CFOs for large governmental agencies.

FactSnippet No. 678,106

John Glenn wrote a bill to add the office of the inspector general to federal agencies, to help find waste and fraud.

FactSnippet No. 678,107

John Glenn created legislation intended to prevent the federal government from imposing regulations on local governments without funding.

FactSnippet No. 678,108

John Glenn founded the Great Lakes Task Force, which helped protect the environment of the Great Lakes.

FactSnippet No. 678,109

In 1995 John Glenn became the ranking minority member of the Committee on Governmental Affairs.

FactSnippet No. 678,110

John Glenn disputed the focus on illegal Chinese donations to the Democrats, and asserted that Republicans had egregious fundraising issues.

FactSnippet No. 678,111

Thompson and John Glenn continued to work together poorly for the duration of the investigation.

FactSnippet No. 678,112

John Glenn was the vice chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a subcommittee of the Committee on Governmental Affairs.

FactSnippet No. 678,113

John Glenn's father spent his retirement money battling cancer, and would have lost his house if John Glenn had not intervened.

FactSnippet No. 678,114

John Glenn was considered an expert in matters of science and technology due to his background.

FactSnippet No. 678,115

John Glenn was a supporter of continuing the B-1 bomber program, which he considered successful.

FactSnippet No. 678,116

John Glenn did not fully support development of the B-2 because he had doubts about the feasibility of the stealth technology.

FactSnippet No. 678,117

John Glenn drafted a proposal to slow down the development of the B-2, which could have potentially saved money, but the measure was rejected.

FactSnippet No. 678,118

John Glenn became the chairman of the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, for which he traveled to Japan, Korea, the Republic of China, and the People's Republic of China.

FactSnippet No. 678,119

John Glenn served on the committee until 1985, when he traded it for the Armed Services Committee.

FactSnippet No. 678,120

John Glenn became chairman of the Manpower Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee in 1987.

FactSnippet No. 678,121

John Glenn introduced legislation such as increasing pay and benefits for American troops in the Persian Gulf during the Gulf War.

FactSnippet No. 678,122

John Glenn served as chairman until 1993, becoming chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Readiness and Defense Infrastructure.

FactSnippet No. 678,123

McCain and John Glenn were reprimanded the least of the five, as the Senate commission found that they had exercised "poor judgment".

FactSnippet No. 678,124

The association of his name with the scandal made Republicans hopeful that he could be defeated in the 1992 campaign, but John Glenn defeated Lieutenant Governor Mike DeWine to retain his seat.

FactSnippet No. 678,125

In 1995, John Glenn read Space Physiology and Medicine, a book written by NASA doctors.

FactSnippet No. 678,126

John Glenn realized that many changes that occur to physical attributes during space flight, such as loss of bone and muscle mass and blood plasma, are the same as changes that occur due to aging.

FactSnippet No. 678,127

John Glenn thought NASA should send an older person on a shuttle mission, and that it should be him.

FactSnippet No. 678,128

Goldin said he would consider it if there was a scientific reason, and if John Glenn could pass the same physical examination the younger astronauts took.

FactSnippet No. 678,129

John Glenn performed research on the subject, and passed the physical examination.

FactSnippet No. 678,130

John Glenn was awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal in 1998 for flying on STS-95.

FactSnippet No. 678,131

In 2001, John Glenn opposed sending Dennis Tito, the world's first space tourist, to the International Space Station because Tito's trip had no scientific purpose.

FactSnippet No. 678,132

Freemason, John Glenn was a member of Concord Lodge No 688 in New Concord, Ohio.

FactSnippet No. 678,133

In 1999, John Glenn became a 33rd-degree Scottish Rite Mason in the Valley of Cincinnati .

FactSnippet No. 678,134

John Glenn was an honorary member of the International Academy of Astronautics and a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Marine Corps Aviation Association, Order of Daedalians, National Space Club board of trustees, National Space Society board of governors, International Association of Holiday Inns, Ohio Democratic Party, State Democratic Executive Committee, Franklin County Democratic Party and the 10th District Democratic Action Club.

FactSnippet No. 678,135

John Glenn used the occasion to criticize the "unfortunate" decision to end the Space Shuttle program, saying that grounding the shuttles delayed research.

FactSnippet No. 678,136

John Glenn retained a private pilot's license until 2011 when he was 90.

FactSnippet No. 678,137

In June 2014, John Glenn underwent successful heart valve replacement surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

FactSnippet No. 678,138

At the time of his death, John Glenn was the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven.

FactSnippet No. 678,139

John Glenn was awarded the General Thomas D White National Defense Award, and the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

FactSnippet No. 678,140

In 1964, John Glenn received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.

FactSnippet No. 678,141

John Glenn earned the Navy's astronaut wings and the Marine Corps' Astronaut Medal.

FactSnippet No. 678,142

John Glenn was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2011 and was among the first group of astronauts to be granted the distinction.

FactSnippet No. 678,143

John Glenn received honorary doctorates from Nihon University in Tokyo; Wagner College in Staten Island, New York; Ohio Northern University; Williams College; and Brown University.

FactSnippet No. 678,144

John Glenn spent his life breaking barriers, from defending our freedom as a decorated Marine Corps fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, to setting a transcontinental speed record, to becoming, at age 77, the oldest human to touch the stars.

FactSnippet No. 678,145

NASA administrator Charles Bolden said: "Senator John Glenn's legacy is one of risk and accomplishment, of history created and duty to country carried out under great pressure with the whole world watching".

FactSnippet No. 678,146