Former astronaut and Ohio Senator died at the age of 95 on Thursday. Several Ohio leaders gave statements on his passing.
President of the United States, Barack Obama:
When John Glenn blasted off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas rocket in 1962, he lifted the hopes of a nation. And when his Friendship 7 spacecraft splashed down a few hours later, the first American to orbit the Earth reminded us that with courage and a spirit of discovery there's no limit to the heights we can reach together. With John's passing, our nation has lost an icon and Michelle and I have lost a friend. John spent his life breaking barriers, from defending our freedom as a decorated Marine Corps fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, to setting a transcontinental speed record, to becoming, at age 77, the oldest human to touch the stars. John always had the right stuff, inspiring generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts who will take us to Mars and beyond--not just to visit, but to stay. Today, the people of Ohio remember a devoted public servant who represented his fellow Buckeyes in the U.S. Senate for a quarter century and who fought to keep America a leader in science and technology. Our thoughts are with his beloved wife Annie, their children John and Carolyn and the entire Glenn family. The last of America's first astronauts has left us, but propelled by their example we know that our future here on Earth compels us to keep reaching for the heavens. On behalf of a grateful nation, Godspeed, John Glenn.
Ohio Governor, John Kasich:
John Glenn is, and always will be, Ohio’s ultimate hometown hero, and his passing today is an occasion for all of us to grieve. As we bow our heads and share our grief with his beloved wife, Annie, we must also turn to the skies, to salute his remarkable journeys and his long years of service to our state and nation. Though he soared deep into space and to the heights of Capitol Hill, his heart never strayed from his steadfast Ohio roots. Godspeed, John Glenn!
Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine:
Fran and I are deeply saddened by the death of Senator John Glenn.
There is no doubt – John Glenn always had the “Right Stuff.” He was an American hero.
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.
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.
My first campaign for the U.S. Senate was against Senator Glenn. In spite of a tough campaign that I lost, he was gracious when I was sworn in to Ohio’s other Senate seat two years later. I was proud to serve with him in the Senate for four years, focusing on what we could do together to help Ohio families.
Fran and I and our children were thrilled to be present for Senator Glenn’s second launch into space in 1998. I took a picture of that launch, which he graciously signed for me. That picture hangs in our home in Cedarville.
No matter where he travelled in the United States, across the world, or even into outer space, Senator Glenn was always proud to call New Concord, Ohio home. He met the love of his life, Annie, there in New Concord when they were toddlers. Their 73-year marriage is an inspiration to us all.
Fran and I extend our deepest and sincerest condolences to Mrs. Glenn and to their children and grandchildren.
Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Clifford Rosenberger:
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I offer my comments today on the passing of John Glenn. As many know, John Glenn has been a hero of mine, a mentor in my life and a man whom I look up to for not only his admirable career, but his steady morals, unmatchable character and his love of family.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with John and Annie, and my thoughts and my sincere prayers are with her and the rest of their wonderful family during this very difficult time. Today, we have lost a great man who has left a truly lasting, impactful legacy on this state, the nation and the entire world. Godspeed, John Glenn.”
United States Senator for Ohio Rob Portman:
Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend John Glenn. John was an American hero and an #Ohio legend.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) December 8, 2016
John and Annie have been a model for Jane and me, and we send our condolences to Annie & the Glenn family at this difficult time.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) December 8, 2016
United States Senator for Ohio Sherrod Brown:
It has been a blessing to know John Glenn and for Connie and me to count him and Annie as mentors and friends. We will miss him. - SB
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) December 8, 2016
Cleveland Mayor, Frank Jackson:
John Glenn was a true American hero. He gave America confidence in itself at a very crucial time in our history. His passing will leave a void and he will be missed.