When a television channel recently showed The Right Stuff, I thought "John Glenn is still alive." I was sad to learn that he has passed on.
He served as a Marine fighter pilot in both World War II and the Korean War. When NASA looked for the first group of astronauts for the Mercury program, he was almost too old and lacked the required degree in science, but made the cut. On 20-January-1962, in Friendship 7, he became the first American to make an orbital space flight.
When I was growing up, we heard a lot more about John Glenn than Alan Shepard or Gus Grissom, who flew before him. We had a Time Life book and record set about the space program and Glenn was heavily featured.
In 1974 he ran for the US Senate as a Democrat and won. He ran for President in 1984, and got a boost from his portrayal in The Right Stuff.
I remember how excited he was to fly on the Space Shuttle in 1998.
Ed Harris did a nice job of portraying John Glenn. The scene where he defended his wife against the Vice President drew cheers. The scene showing his wonder at being in space made everyone silent.
Godspeed, John Glenn.