John Glenn, a former Marine jet fighter, the first American astronaut to orbit Earth, and United Senator from Ohio passed away at 95-years-old, Joe Hallett of dispatch.com first reported Thursday afternoon.
According to the report, the legendary aviator died in the Wexner Medical Center, comfortably surrounded by friends and family. The senator's health had declined recently.
Ohio State president Michael Drake issued the following statement:
“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.
“Senator Glenn was a decorated U.S. Marine aviator, legendary NASA astronaut, tireless public servant, and an unparalleled supporter of The John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State, where he served actively as an adjunct professor until just recently. He was an authentic hero whose courage, integrity, sacrifice and achievements inspired people, young and old, around the world.
“Most importantly, he was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He and his wife, Annie, have been the definition of model citizens. Meeting them was among life’s greatest privileges. Spending time with them was a blessing.
“On behalf of the Ohio State community, I extend my heartfelt condolences to Annie and the entire Glenn family.”
The John Glenn College of Public Affairs’ history dates back to 1969 with the start of the Division of Public Administration at Ohio State. In 1998, Sen. John Glenn founded the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy, which merged with the School of Public Policy & Management (formally the Division of Public Administration) in 2006, creating the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. The school became the university's 15th college in 2015.
In 2009, Glenn gave the keynote address at spring commencement and became one of only a few, select non-band members to dot the “i” in Script Ohio. In 2015, Ohio State renamed 17th Avenue Annie and John Glenn Avenue.
Details about arrangements and an on-campus remembrance service will be forthcoming from the university.
Ohio governor John Kasich issued the following statement:
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. 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.
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!
According to The Dispatch, Glenn's body will lie in state at the Ohio Statehouse for a day. He will be at Arlington National Cemetery in a private service.