Neil Armstrong Dies at 82

by 12:46 PM PDT, August 25, 2012
Photo: Getty Images

Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, has died. He was 82.

The Armstrong family told CBS News in a statement that Armstrong died following complications of cardiovascular procedures.

Armstrong was born near Wapakoneta, Ohio on August 5, 1930. After serving as an airplane pilot during the Korean War, he first set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969 as part of the Apollo 11 mission, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy's goal of putting a man on the moon. After retiring from NASA, a humble Armstrong taught engineering at an Ohio college and generally kept a low profile.

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His family said in the statement, "While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

"For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request: Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

President Obama released a statement on Saturday, saying, "Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Neil Armstrong.

"Neil was among the greatest of American heroes - not just of his time, but of all time. When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable - that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten.

"Today, Neil's spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown - including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure - sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step."