- Bob Greene says Glenn downplays his hero status, but views his wife, Annie, as a hero
- Annie struggled for much of her life with a severe speech impediment
This column -- written by CNN contributor Bob Greene, author of the books "Late Edition: A Love Story" and "Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen" -- was originally published in February 2012. John Glenn died Thursday at 95. His wife, Annie, is 96.
(CNN)For half a century, the world has applauded John Glenn as a heart-stirring American hero. He lifted the nation's spirits when, as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, he was blasted alone into orbit around the Earth; the enduring affection for him is so powerful that even now people find themselves misting up at the sight of his face or the sound of his voice.