President-elect Donald Trump said that John Glenn, who died Thursday at the age of 95, ''Was a great American hero.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: President-elect Donald Trump said that John Glenn, who died Thursday at the age of 95, "Was a great American hero." Glenn became one of the 20th century's greatest explorers as the first American to orbit Earth and later as the world's oldest astronaut, and also had a long career as a U.S. senator. "To to me he was a great American hero, a truly great American hero," Trump said. "I met him on two separate occasions. Liked him, always liked him. But he was indeed an American hero," Trump said. Glenn, the last surviving member of the original seven American "Right Stuff" Mercury astronauts, died at the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University in Columbus, said Hank Wilson, a spokesman at the university's John Glenn College of Public Affairs, which Glenn helped found. Glenn was credited with reviving U.S. pride after the Soviet Union's early domination of manned space exploration. His three laps around the world in the Friendship 7 capsule on Feb. 20, 1962, forged a powerful link between the former fighter pilot and the Kennedy-era quest to explore outer space as a "New Frontier." President Barack Obama, who in 2012 awarded Glenn the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, said: "With John's passing, our nation has lost an icon." "When John Glenn blasted off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas rocket in 1962, he lifted the hopes of a nation," Obama said in a statement. "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."