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John Glenn Biography »
John Herschel Glenn, Jr., (born July 18, 1921) is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States senator. He was the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space. Glenn was a combat aviator in the Marine Corps and one of the Mercury Seven, who were the elite U.S. military test pilots selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to operate the experimental Mercury spacecraft and become the first American astronauts. He flew the Friendship 7 mission on February 20, 1962. In 1965, Glenn retired from the military and resigned from NASA so he could be eligible to stand for election to public office. As a member of the Democratic Party he was elected to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate from 1974 to 1999.