Extreme Humans

John Glenn – First American to Orbit the Earth

Last Updated on June 23, 2020 by Darshan Modi

John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, was an engineer, astronaut and United States senator from Ohio.

John Glenn
John Glenn

John Glenn Superhuman Superpower

John Glenn was a distinguished veteran in World War II and Korean which fetched him numerous awards. As a NASA astronaut, he orbited the earth 3 times which made him the first American to orbit the Earth, and the third American and fifth person in space. He made the first supersonic transcontinental flight across the United States. His courage has made him a hero on several occasion such as during World War II where he helped to destroy three MiG-15 aircrafts.


John Glenn was born on July 18, 1921 at Cambridge, Ohio, U.S.

Early Life

John Glenn and his family moved to New Concord, Ohio shortly after his birth. At Concord, his father started his own plumbing company named Glenn Plumbing Company. In 1929, John took his first flight with father and became interest in aircrafts that he started building airplanes model from balsa wood kits. He attended New Concord Elementary School for his primary education and New Concord High School for his secondary education. He graduated from high school at age 18.

About John Glenn

John Glenn was born at Cambridge but soon relocated with his family to New Concord, Ohio. He had his primary and secondary education at New Concord Elementary and New Concord High Schools respectively. On graduating from high school in 1939, he gained admission to study engineering at Muskingum College. While in primary school, he earned money from car washing which he used to buy a bicycle. He worked as a delivery boy for Columbus Dispatch Newspaper using his bicycle. He was also a member of Ohio rangers as a child. In high school, he was in varsity football, basketball and tennis teams. John was a member of Stag Club Fraternity and played on the football team in college.

ALSO READ ABOUT:   Joseph Merrick - The Elephant Man

In January 1954, John started U.S Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland and graduated in July of that same year. His first flight test assignment nearly took his life when the oxygen in his cockpit failed. While in test pilot school, he was assigned as fighter Design Branch at Navy Bureau of Aeronauts in Washington, D.C and attended University of Maryland from 1956 to April 1959. John carried out Project Bullet where he flew an F8U crusader to make the first supersonic transcontinental flight on July 16, 1957. This cross country flight took him just 3 hours 30minutes and made him a minor celebrity.

On nomination, john joined the newly formed NASA Manned Space Program. He was selected as a member of Mercury Capsule Friendship 7 after he met the seven criteria for selection in April, 1959. On February 20, 1962, john and his crew launched into space. He spent 4 hours and 56minutes to cycle the globe three times reaching speeds of more than 17,000 miles per hour. Following his flight, he began an American hero and was awarded Space Congressional Medal of Honor by President John Kennedy on February 23, 1962. Many schools and streets across the country were named after him. He became a very important person that President John Kennedy would not risk putting him back in space again.

John left NASA in January 1964 and tried to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Ohio but withdrew due to injury in February, 1964. In 1970, he lost a close primary election but won a senate election in 1974 as a member of Democratic Party and served for 24years.

ALSO READ ABOUT:   James Cameron – Diving to Earth's Deepest Point

John got married to Anna Margaret (Annie) Castor, his childhood friend. They grew up spending all their time together. They got married on April 6, 1943 in a Presbyterian Ceremony at College Drive Church in Columbus, Ohio and remained married for 73 years. Their marriage was blessed with two children John David and Carolyn Ann. John was a religious man who never saw contradiction between belief in God and knowledge of evolution. He was an ordained elder of the Presbyterian Church. He was the original owner of Seralago Hotel & Suites Main Gate East. He was also an honorary member of many societies such as International Academy of Astronauts, Order of Daedalians etc.

In early December 2016, John was admitted at James Cancer Hospital of Ohio State University Wexler Medical Center in Columbus where he died on December 8, 2016 at age 95.

Genetic Or Learned

John Glenn’s ability was acquired.

Official Website

John Glenn Youtube Videos

Featured In

  • Magazine
  • NASA
  • Newspaper
  • Website
  • YouTube Videos

Books Published by John Glenn