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Annie Glenn, Activist And Widow Of John Glenn, Dies At 100

May 19, 2020

Annie Glenn at husband John's memorial in the Ohio Capitol rotunda, 2016
Credit John Minchello / Associated Press

Flags are at half staff at state buildings in Columbus and across Muskingum County in honor of Columbus-native Annie Glenn, who died this morning at a nursing home in Minnesota of COVID-19 related causes.  She was 100.

The widow of astronaut and politician John Glenn, she was reluctantly thrust into the public spotlight in the 1960’s.  It wasn’t until she overcame a profound stutter that she was able to accept and use her families fame.

“I feel like a butterfly that has been let out of a cocoon.  And it’s just completely completely changed my life.  I can argue, I can make speeches, I can talk to people!  It’s just really, really changed my life.  Life is… beautiful now.”

Glenn became an advocate for people with disabilities and communication disorders.  In 1987, she presented the first “Annie Glenn Award” created by the National Association for Hearing and Speech Action to honor people who excelled despite a communication disorder.

A virtual memorial will be live streamed from Broad Street  Presbyterian Church in Columbus June 6th,  according to a press release from Ohio State University.  Information will be available at glenn.osu.edu. 

Glenn will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery beside her husband John, who died in 2016.