John Glenn, Former Astronaut and US Senator, Hospitalized in Ohio

Glenn, 95, has been in declining health

John Glenn, an astronaut who became an American hero and was later elected to the U.S. Senate, is hospitalized in Ohio.

Glenn, 95, was at The James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University on Wednesday. His condition and exact illness were not known, and officials said his stay at the hospital does not necessarily mean he has cancer.

Glenn had surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in 2014 to replace a heart valve and suffered a stroke, according to His health, including his eyesight, has declined in recent years.

"Anybody who's 95, any illness is always bad," Hank Wilson, a spokesman for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University, told

Glenn, born in Ohio in 1921, was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. One of the “Mercury Seven,” the first group of astronauts picked by NASA, he orbited Earth three times in 1962 aboard a spacecraft he named “Friendship 7." He spent five hours in space.

He returned to space in 1998 when he flew with six other astronauts on the space shuttle. He was 77 at the time.

Glenn was elected to the U.S. Senate from Ohio in 1974. A Democrat, he served for 25 years.

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