Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana issued the following statement:
“I had just turned 13 when I watched John Glenn become the first American to orbit the earth back in February of 1962. John epitomized what it was to be a Marine, a pilot, and an astronaut, and he was one of my heroes. After I was fortunate enough to become an astronaut myself, our paths crossed many times. I so much enjoyed, and now treasure, the time I was able to spend with him discussing the early days of our space program, and the space program’s importance to our country and our future. More than a senator, or an astronaut, John defined himself as a Marine and a pilot. He was very proud that he was able to pass his medical even when he turned 90, and he loved to talk about flying. He was definitely in his element when he returned to the astronaut office in 1998, at the age 77, to train and fly on STS-95 aboard Discovery. He had always wanted to fly in space again. He was the consummate professional, a leader of the highest caliber, and a genuinely nice man. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to get to know him and his lovely wife Annie. John was truly one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known and he will be greatly missed.”
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.