JOHN Glenn, whose 1962 flight as the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American hero and propelled him to a long career in the US Senate, has died aged 95.

The last survivor of the original Mercury 7 astronauts died at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where he was hospitalised for more than a week, said Hank Wilson, communications director for the John Glenn School of Public Affairs.

Glenn was the ultimate all-American hero. He was the first American to orbit the Earth, a war hero fighter pilot, a record-setting test pilot, a longtime senator, a presidential candidate and a man who defied age and gravity to go back into space at 77.

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