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Annie Glenn

Annie Glenn, who reluctantly entered the public eye as the wife of astronaut and senator John Glenn and later overcame a severe stuttering problem to become a leading advocate for people with communication disorders, died May 19 at a nursing center in St. Paul, Minn. She was 100. The cause was covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, said the senator’s former press secretary, Dale Butland. Mrs. Glenn met her future husband when they were toddlers, growing up in New Concord, Ohio. They went to high school and college together and were married in 1943, while John Glenn was serving as a Marine Corps pilot. John Glenn and Annie Glenn in 1962. She later said they moved 33 times for her husband’s career, as he flew hundreds of missions in World War II and the Korean War and later became a test pilot. He was selected as part of the country’s astronaut corps, the Mercury Seven, in 1959. During the early years of the space program, the astronauts were seen as national heroes, and none more so than John Glenn. He was not the first to go into space — that honor went to Alan Shepard in 1961. But perhaps more than the other astronauts, Glenn had a grasp of the historical and symbolic importance of America’s first voyages into space. He was also a squeaky-clean, churchgoing Midwesterner, a publicist’s dream.