John Glenn

July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016

As American heroes go, they don’t come much more American or heroic than John Glenn. As a Marine fighter pilot during World War II and the Korean War, Glenn was already well-decorated with military honors, but he became a household name in 1959 when he was named a member of the Mercury 7 – the United States’ first group of astronauts. In 1962, after backing up Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom on the first two manned Mercury missions (respectively), Glenn flew the Friendship 7 capsule into space on the project’s third mission and become the first man to orbit the Earth.

The Mercury astronauts became celebrities and John Glenn was no exception. In fact, he was arguably the most public face of the program. When Mercury ended, Glenn decided to step away from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and enter public service. He served as a U.S. Senator from Ohio from 1974 until 1999. In 1998, Senator Glenn flew once more into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery to research space travel’s effects on the body…particularly someone older than the typical astronaut. Glenn was 77 years old at the time of the mission.

Glenn spent much of his life being honored and awarded. In 2011, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and in 2012, the Presidential Medal of Freedom to add to his lengthy list of awards. He died in 2016 at the age of 95. He was the last surviving Mercury 7 astronaut.


Arlington National Cemetery – Arlington, VA

Specific Location

Section 35, Grave 1543; To the south of the Memorial Amphitheater along Memorial Dr. Locate and face the gray memorial to Vietnam Helicopter Pilots along the road, John is buried 2 rows to your left about 6 spaces from the road.


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