[NASA Logo] John Glenn Mercury Portrait, circa 1960
National Aeronautics and Space Administration


John H. Glenn, Jr., Colonel, USMC (Ret.), was born July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio. As a child, he moved with his parents to New Concord, Ohio. Glenn was assigned to the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in April 1959 after his selection as a Project Mercury Astronaut. Glenn resigned from the Manned Spacecraft Center on January 16, 1964. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in October 1964 and retired from the Marine Corps on January 1, 1965. He was business executive from 1965 until his election to the United States Senate in November 1974, where he now serves.

Glenn is 5 feet 10-1/2 inches tall, weighs 168 pounds and has green eyes and red hair. His wife is the former Anna Margaret Castor, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. H. W. Castor of New Concord. The Glenns have two children: John David, born December 13, 1945; and Carolyn Ann, born March 19, 1947. Glenn's parents, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Glenn of New Concord, are deceased.

On February 20, 1962, Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 "Friendship 7" spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States. Launched from Cape Canaveral (recently re-named Cape Kennedy), Florida, he completed a successful three--orbit mission around the earth, reaching a maximum altitude (apogee) of approximately 16Z statute miles and an orbital velocity of approximately 17,500 miles per hour. Glenn's "Friendship 7" Mercury spacecraft landed in an area in the Atlantic approximately 800 miles southeast of Cape Kennedy in the vicinity of Grand Turk Island. He landed 41 miles west and 19 miles north of the planned impact point. The time of the flight from launch to impact was 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds. Prior to his flight, Glenn had served as backup pilot for Astronauts Shepard and Grissom.

When the astronauts were given special assignments to ensure pilot input into the design and development of spacecraft and flight control system in January 1963, Project Apollo became Glenn's specialty area.

Glenn attended primary and secondary schools in New Concord, where he also attended Muskingum College. He entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in March 1942 and was graduated from this program and commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1943. After ad-vanced training, he joined Marine Fighter Squadron 155 and spent a year flying F4U fighters in the Marshall Islands.

During his World War II service, he flew 59 combat missions. After the war, he was a member of Fighter Squadron 218 on North China patrol and had duty in Guam. From June 1948 to December 1950 Glenn was an instructor in advanced flight training at Corpus Christi, Texas. He then attended Amphibious Warfare Training at Quantico, Virginia. In Korea he flew 63 missions with Marine Fighter Squadrons 311, and 27 while an exchange pilot with the Air Force in F-86 Sabrejets. In the last nine days of fighting in Korea, Glenn downed three MIG's in combat along the Yalu River.

After Korea, Glenn attended Test Pilot School at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland. After graduation, he was project officer on a number of aircraft. He was assigned to the Fighter Design Branch of the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (now Bureau of Naval Weapons) in Washington from November 1956 to April 1959, during which time he also attended the University of Maryland.

Glenn has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on five occasions, and holds the Air Medal with 18 Clusters for his service during World War II and Korea. Glenn also holds the Navy Unit Commendation for service in Korea, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the China Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy's Astronaut Wings, the Marine Corps' new insignia (an Astronaut Medal), and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

In July 1957, while project officer of the F8U, he set a transcontinental speed record from Los Angeles to New York, spanning the country in 3 hours and 23 minutes. This was the first transcontinental flight to average supersonic speed.

Glenn received his B.S. degree in engineering from Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio. Muskingum College also awarded Glenn an honorary doctor of science degree in engineering. He has received honorary doctor of engineering degrees from Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan, Wagner, and New Hampshire Colleges.

Glenn has more than 5,455 hours of flying time, including 1,900 hours in jet aircraft.

His hobbies are boating and skiing.

NASA BIO from JUNE 1978

More Recent Bios:

Senator John Glenn Jr. Bio
Senator John Glenn Jr. Home Page
John Glenn's "My Experience in Space"
John Glenns Bio (JSC Astronaut office)