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From The Library Of 'Life'

Unpublished Photos On John Glenn's 90th

John Glenn, former Marine Corps pilot and veteran, U.S. senator and, most famously, the first American to orbit the Earth, turns 90 today. To celebrate, Life has curated a gallery of never-before-published photographs from the late 1950s and early '60s — with commentary by the astronaut himself.

The photos show the American space race with Russia; the trajectory of Project Mercury, America's first human spaceflight program; Glenn just before and after his historic flight; and his announcement of candidacy for the Senate shortly thereafter. See the rest on Life's website.