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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, says Neil Armstrong dedicated himself to his country and will always be remembered for pioneering the way to the moon.
In a phone interview Saturday with The Associated Press, Glenn said he will miss Armstrong and noted that he was a close friend. The two astronauts -- arguably NASA's most famous -- both hailed from Ohio.
Glenn recalled how Armstrong had just 15 seconds to 35 seconds of fuel remaining when he landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, with Buzz Aldrin. Glenn also recounted Armstrong's illustrious aviation career, including his testing of experimental aircraft.
Glenn says Armstrong's skill and dedication "was just exemplary."
The 91-year-old Glenn was in Columbus, Ohio, when he learned of Armstrong's death at age 82.
A statement from the family says he died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. It doesn't say where he died.
Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs. In all, 12 Americans walked on the moon from 1969 to 1972.
Armstrong had a brief connection to Louisville, though not one he would have wished for himself.
In 1979, according to media reports at the time, Armstrong was working on his farm near Lebanon, Ohio when he caught his wedding ring on a latch connected to his grain truck, and tore off the tip of his finger.
He came to Louisville's Kleinert Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center and had the finger reattached.
Copyright 2012 AP and WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.