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John Herschel Glenn Jr was born on July 18 1921 in Cambridge Ohio He was named after his father John Glenn Sr John Glenn Sr had fought in France during World War I and his hearing had been impaired as a result of the fighting After the war he started a plumbing business and managed to make a comfortable living for himself and his family Johns mother Clara Sproat Glenn wanted a large family two of her children died while they were infants After John was born the family adopted a young girl named Jean Clara told her children that each person is placed on Earth for a purpose Her strong sense of work and duty influenced John throughout his life Johns family life was strict but he enjoyed a happy and carefree childhood He played stickball and hockey People could see that John was a natural leader He was involved with boy scouts in his community but since they moved they did not have a troop because his town was too small John started a group of his own called Ohio Rangers John was always interested in airplanes He read many aviation books and built small wooden models in his room His childhood hero was Charles Lindbergh who in 1927 became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean John and his father were invited by a friend to join Charles in a short airplane ride After this experience John decided on a future career as a pilot In 1935 John entered New Concord High School He earned high marks in all of his classes and lettered in football basketball and tennis While John was a little boy he had made friends with Annie Castor Annie Castor in high school became his first high school sweetheart After high school John and Annie both stayed home in New Concorde and attended Muskingum College which John entered in the fall of 1939 In
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