New Concord, Ohio native, former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn has died at the age of 95 at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus on Thursday. Glenn was best known as being the first American to orbit the earth. He spent 24 years as a Democratic senator in Washington.
“He and Annie (Glenn’s wife) are special people,” former Ohio Governor and U.S. Representative, Scioto County Native Ted Strickland told the Daily Times after learning of Glenn’s death. “They are very special people. In my judgment, John Glenn is the type of person that comes along very rarely.”
Strickland talked about Glenn’s career in an exclusive interview with the Daily Times.
“He was a fighter pilot in the Korean war, and a fighter pilot in World War II, and an astronaut twice, a senator, a successful business person and just a very decent human being,” Strickland said. “That makes him a rare breed.”
Strickland issued his personal condolences through the Daily Times.
“I feel bad for Annie today because I know this is an incredible loss for her,” Strickland said. “They’ve been sweethearts for all these years. I just think he was a very special person. He had a very special love and devotion for the country I think, and stayed true to his values.”
The reactions continued to pour in Thursday afternoon.
“Fran and I are deeply saddened by the death of Senator John Glenn,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in response to the news. “There is no doubt – John Glenn always had the ‘Right Stuff.’ He was an American hero.”
DeWine remembered seeing Glenn make history
“I remember vividly, as a freshman at Yellow Springs High School, sitting in science class and, like so many Americans, listening to the radio and watching on TV later in the day, as John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. That day, he captured the hearts of Americans and guaranteed his place in the history of this country and in the history of the world,” DeWine said. “As a United States Senator, John Glenn was a workhorse. He wasn’t flashy or looking for TV cameras, but instead, Senator Glenn was interested in the real work of the United States Senate.”
When U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown was sworn in as a Senator in January 2007, Glenn escorted Brown onto the Senate floor.
“It has been one of the great blessings of my life to get to know John Glenn, and for Connie and me to count on him and Annie as mentors and friends. We loved him, we will miss him and we will continue to draw strength and wisdom from the lessons he shared with us over the years,” Brown said Thursday. “What made John Glenn a great Senator was the same quality that made him a great astronaut and an iconic American hero: he saw enormous untapped potential in the nation he loved and he had faith that America could overcome any challenge.
“John’s kindness, his intelligence, his courage and his commitment to service set an example that our country needs today more than ever. John’s legacy will live on in the pages of the history books and the hearts of everyone who knew and loved him.”
No details were available Thursday concerning memorial arrangements.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.