John Glenn, 1st American to orbit Earth, has heart valve replaced ahead of his 93rd birthday

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2012, file photo, John Glenn speaks during an interview at his office in Columbus, Ohio. The former astronaut and Ohio U.S. senator has had a heart valve replacement as he approaches his 93rd birthday. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Image Credit: AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Former astronaut and Ohio U.S. senator John Glenn has had a heart valve replacement as he approaches his 93rd birthday.

A spokesman at Ohio State University says the first American to orbit Earth is recuperating. John Glenn School of Public Affairs spokesman Hank Wilson says Glenn is strong and healthy ahead of his birthday July 18.

Wilson said Wednesday that Glenn had a minimally invasive version of the valve replacement procedure at the Cleveland Clinic in May. He says Glenn is recovering well.

In 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth as a member of the Mercury 7 program. He later spent more than two decades as a U.S. senator and returned to space at age 77 aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

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