John Glenn became the American idol when at the age of 77 he was able to satiate John F Kennedy’s desire to compete with Russia in the ‘space race’ and became the first person to orbit around the earth in outer space. The same John Glenn breathed his last on Friday morning at Ohio, after being in a hospital for the past one week. John Glenn was the last surviving member of the ‘Mercury Seven’ group of select pilots by NASA for the space exploration.
As Glenn circled the globe in three loops on Feb 20, 1962, America knew at heart, that they have found their competitor against Russia, and he became the ‘first American hero’. The Twitter world has been pouring in their condolences, regretting the loss of a US Senator, engineer, pilot.
Glenn grew up in New Concord, Ohio, where he studied engineering and got his private pilot licence. He later served as a fighter pilot in the World War II and Korean war. Riding his Panther Jet in 63 combat missions he earned the nickname of ‘Magnet Ass’ for his counter attack tactics on his enemy. After being in 149 combat missions, John Glenn earned numerous titles including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.
As much glorious as his life was, after taking a seat in the UN Senate, Glenn witnessed some hiccups, when he was caught up in Lincoln Saving and Keating five scandal for allegedly accepting bribe. Glenn along with John McCain (another US senator) was later acquitted from the blame. He also made a run for the US Presidential election in 1984, but failed miserably to gain confidence and dropped his bid. Despite these hurdles, Glenn played a pivotal role as a Senator to formulate the Non-Proliferation Act 1978, along with Charles Percy.
However at the end of his life, he was only remembered for his tremendous contribution in all fields with which he was associated. The world regrets the loss.