John Herschel Glenn (1921 -   ) was the first man form the USA to orbit the Earth

John Glenn in 1962

John Glenn in 1962

John Herschel Glenn, Jr.was born 18 July 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio. He went to primary and secondary schools in New Concord, Ohio before going to Muskingum College where he studied to be an engineer.

When he was 21, John Glenn joined the Air Force and became a fighter pilot. During World War 2 and the Korean War, he won many medals for bravery.

Then John Glenn became a test pilot. In July 1957, he set a supersonic speed record flying from Los Angeles to New York. He was chosen to be an astronaut in 1959. He became the first American to orbit the earth on 20 February, 1962. The flight on Friendship 7 took just five hours and orbited the earth three times.

Glenn retired on 1 January,1965 and became a businessman. Later he was elected to the United States Senate.

In 1998, at the age of 77, John Glenn once again flew in space, aboard the Space Shuttle. He has won the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and a Space Medal of Honor.

A stamp issued to commemorate the 1962 space flight © iStock

A stamp issued to commemorate the 1962 space flight © iStock

John Glenn is married and he and his wife Anna have two grown children and two grandchildren.

Read more about John Glenn here

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/who-is-john-glenn-k4.html