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Former Glenn Press Secretary Calls Him "A Giant"

photo of John Glenn as fighter pilot
Fighter pilot, John Glenn

Tributes have pouring in from people who knew, worked with and admired Ohio’s John Glenn – the first American to orbit the earth, the oldest person ever to fly in space and Ohio's only four term US Senator.

Longtime Democratic strategist Dale Butland was Senator Glenn’s press secretary and chief of staff.

He says Glenn’s commitment to his country through the military and the space program goes back to a time when Americans believed in their institutions and in the government to do big things.

“I think a lot of that is gone now, and I’m not sure that we’ll ever get to the point where we can all cheer for the same national hero anymore because we’re so divided. But I think John stands as a giant.”

Specific details about Glenn’s memorial are still being put together, but he will lie in state at the Statehouse next week, and a public event is being planned at Mershon Auditorium on the Ohio State campus.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.