Neil Armstrong dead at age 82
Born in western Ohio, Neil Armstrong received his pilot's license before he could drive a car. He became an astronaut in 1962, and then commanded Gemini 8 -- the first docking of two space vehicles.
Armstrong actually took over the controls to keep the capsule from spinning out of control back to Earth, a feat which led him to pilot Apollo 11's moon landing in 1969.
The first man on the moon died Saturday at age 82 of complications from recent heart surgery.
Fellow moonwalker “Buzz” Aldrin says Armstrong was "the best pilot he ever knew," adding his friend "Neil took the small step, but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a landmark moment in human history."
Texas Senator John Cornyn issued a statement over the weekend, “we have lost one of our nation's finest heroes and a timeless symbol of the American spirit.”
Armstrong remained humble through the years, considering himself a farmer and pilot, someone serving his country for the better. In recent years, Armstrong became NASA's biggest advocate before Congress.
"We live in a technology driven world where progress is rapid and unstoppable," Armstrong testified. "Our choices are to lead, try to keep up or get out of the way."
Former flight director Gene Kranz worked with Armstrong throughout his career, dating back to when he was just test pilot.
"These were the people who took the risks for rapid progress in aircraft operations, and that led into space flight," Kranz told KTRH's Matt Patrick on Monday. “Reluctant hero is really a proper description, he was probably the most humble person I ever met.”