CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, has died.
Word of Armstrong's death comes from his family. A statement says he died following complications of heart surgery.
Armstrong gained instant international fame as commander of the Apollo 11 spacecraft mission when, on July 20th, 1969, he became the first human to take steps on the moon. He radioed back to earth the historic phrase, "one giant leap for mankind."
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.
John Glenn is remembering his close friend and fellow astronaut as a man who was "dedicated enough to dare greatly."
U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) issued a statement in light of Armstrong's passing. He said that "Mr. Armstrong was an icon of American heroism who will always be remembered for those first few brave steps on the moon."
Armstrong was born in Ohio on August 5th, 1930. He was 82.