regrets to confirm that Annie Glenn has died at the age of 100. Mrs. Glenn was described by Ohio Governor Mike DeVine as “ our most most beloved Ohioan. She represented all that is good about our country.”

President Barack Obama and Annie Glenn, wife of former Senator John Glenn, greet each other following an event at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Gov. DeWine ordered national and state flags to be lowered to half-staff in her memory. Annie Glenn was a nationally respected advocate for people with disabilities, especially those with speech impediments or speech disorders. She was also the widow of Senator John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962, and the oldest Earthling to go into space (age 77) on 10/29/89.

Anna Margaret Castor was born February 17, 1920, in Columbus Ohio, only seventeen years after the Wright Brothers made their first flight. In her hundred years she lived to see men walk on the Moon. April 6, 1943, she married Lt. John H. Glenn, USMC. a childhood friend and her high school sweetheart. During WWII, John Glenn won two Distinguished Flying Crosses and ten Air Medals. He went into space in 1962. Annie and John had two children, John David Glenn in 1945 and Carolyn Ann Glenn in 1947. Col. John H. Glenn died January 3, 1999, after 73 years of marriage. Annie Glenn died May 19, 2020 in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is survived by her children and two grandchildren.

Annie Glenn suffered from severe stuttering as a child. As an adult she became an advocate for people with speech difficulties. The National Association for Hearing and Speech Action named the Annie Glenn Award in her honor. The award is for achieving distinction despite a communication disorder. In 1887, she herself presented the first Annie Glenn Award to James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars and Mufasa in The Lion King, himself a former stutterer. In 2004, she was inducted into the National Stuttering Hall of Fame. In 2009, Ohio State University awarded her an honorary Doctorate in Public Service.

Annie Glenn attended Muskingum College, in New Concord, Ohio. She graduated in 1942 with a degree in music. She often performed as a church organist.

In The Right Stuff, she was played by Mary Jo Deschanel (Eileen Hayward in Twin Peaks, Betty Fernandez in 2010.) In The Astronaut Wives Club, she was played by Azure Parsons (Gloriana Embry in Salem). In her century, she witnessed a lot of history, some of it up close and personal, as the wife of a military pilot, an astronaut, and a politician, She saw society and technology change in ways unimaginable to most of us.

Ave atque vale, Dr. Annie Glenn, musician, wife, mother, philanthropist, advocate. We salute your long career of public service.


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