Annie Glenn never minded that her husband always got the spotlight. It was unavoidable, as she was married to fighter pilot, space program pioneer and U.S. Sen. John Glenn.
But the achievements of Mrs. Glenn, who died this week at age 100 from a coronavirus infection, helped many people over the decades.
She had a severe stutter — a disability memorably portrayed in “The Right Stuff,” the 1983 film about the Mercury Seven astronauts. It left her unable to give interviews at a time when there was intense interest in the astronauts and their families, or even to speak on the telephone.
But in 1973, at age 53, she began an intensive therapy program in Virginia that allowed her to overcome the stutter and speak in public.
That propelled her into many years of advocacy for those with similar impairments. She made a difference: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association presents an annual award named for her to honor people who have overcome a communication disorder.