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John Glenn, a war hero who became the first American to orbit the Earth and later served four terms in the U.S. Senate, has died in his home state of Ohio. He was 95.

Glenn’s death was announced Thursday by officials at Ohio State University, where he was being treated at James Cancer Hospital. Glenn had experienced a number of health problems in recent years, including a stroke he suffered two years ago after having had heart valve replacement surgery.

“We are saddened by the loss of Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. A true American hero,” NASA said. “Godspeed, John Glenn. Ad astra [to the stars].”

The author Tom Wolfe wrote that Glenn, once a small-town American, became “the last true national hero America has ever made.”

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Image: John Glenn in SpacehabJohn Glenn worked as a payload specialist aboard the shuttle Discovery from Oct. 29 to Nov. 7, 1998. REX/Shutterstock / Shutterstock

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