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Remembering John Glenn: His Life in Pictures

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On Dec. 8, we lost one of our greatest American heroes, John Glenn. He was 95. Best known as the first astronaut to orbit Earth, he was also a decorated World War II and Korean War veteran, and later a U.S. senator. In honor of Glenn’s incredible legacy, RealClearLife takes a look back at his life in pictures.

John Glenn
Marine Corp pilot John Glenn poses in the cockpit of an F-8 Fighter in 1957. (Getty Images)

 

American astronaut (and future politician) John Glenn practices, in a full flightsuit, in a mock Project Mercury space capsule, Langley Research Center, Virginia, 1959. (Photo by Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
John Glenn practices, in a full flightsuit, in a mock Project Mercury space capsule, Langley Research Center, Virginia, 1959. (Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

 

John Glenn
John Glenn strapped into a centrifuge during a simulated space flight. (Photo by Ralph Morse/Life Magazine/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

 

 John Glenn
John Glenn in the telemetry control room aboard the NASA tracking ship as he directs telemetry test in 1963. (Mitsunori Chigita/AP)

 

John Glenn
Fisheye view of Project Mercury astronaut John Glenn in mock space capsule. (Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

 

John Glenn
John Glenn dressed in his space suit, stands in front of a Project Mercury tracking antenna on the eve of his scheduled orbital flight around the world in 1962. (Getty Images)

 

John Glenn
John Glenn in front of the Mercury Atlas 6 spacecraft ‘Friendship 7’ in 1962. (Getty Images)

 

John Glenn
John Glenn and President John F. Kennedy inspect the Friendship 7, the Mercury capsule in which Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. (Vincent P. Connolly/AP)

 

John Glenn
American politician and former astronaut Senator John Glenn gives a ‘thumbs up’ sign as he leans out of the door during his campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Massachusetts, January 5, 1984. (Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)

 

John Glenn
Astronaut Sen. John Glenn talks during a break in crew escape training Monday, June 1, 1998. (Getty Images)

 

John Glenn
John Glenn receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House on May 29, 2012. (Leigh Vogel/WireImage)
COLUMBUS, OHIO - FEBRUARY 20: In this handout provided by NASA, former U.S. Sen. and astronaut John Glenn poses for a portrait shortly after doing live television interviews from the Ohio State University Union building on February 20, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Glenn's historic flight as the first American to orbit Earth. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)
( Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)