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Annie Glenn, widow of US astronaut John Glenn, dies at 100 of COVID-19

Annie Glenn, the widow of astronaut and US Sen. John Glenn and a communication disorders advocate, dies of complications from COVID-19. She was 100.

Glenn died at a nursing home near St. Paul, Minnesota, says Hank Wilson, a spokesman for the Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.

At the time of John Glenn’s death in 2016, the two had been married 73 years. She had moved out of the apartment they shared in Columbus in recent years and gone to live with her daughter, Lyn, according to Wilson.

Annie Glenn was thrust into the spotlight in 1962, when her husband became the first American to orbit Earth. She shied away from the media attention because of a severe stutter.

Later, she underwent an intensive program at the Communications Research Institute at Hollins College, now Hollins University, in Roanoke, Virginia, that gave her the skills to control her stutter and to speak in public.

By the time 77-year-old John Glenn returned to space in 1998 aboard space shuttle Discovery, Annie showed she had become comfortable in her public role when she acknowledged that she had reservations about the retired senator’s second flight.

“John had announced one year before that he was going to retire as a senator, so I was looking forward to having him as my own because I had given him to our government for 55 years,” she told a NASA interviewer.

Her career in advocacy for those with communication disorders included service on the advisory boards of numerous child abuse and speech and hearing organizations. The Annie Glenn Award was created to honor individuals who overcome a communication disorder.

AP

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