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Neil Armstrong, 1st man to walk on moon, dies at 82

  • FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, file photo provided by NASA, Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong speaks at a celebration dinner honoring John Glenn in Columbus, Ohio. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is recovering from heart surgery days after his 82nd birthday, a NASA spokesman said Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/NASA, Bill Ingalls, File)

CINCINNATI — Neil Armstrong was a soft-spoken engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made "one giant leap for mankind" with a small step onto the moon. The modest man, who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter-million miles away, but credited others for the feat, died Saturday. He was 82.

Armstrong died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, his family said in a statement. Armstrong had had a bypass operation this month, according to NASA. His family didn't say where he died; he had lived in suburban Cincinnati.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century's scientific expeditions. His first words after becoming the first person to set foot on the surface are etched in history books and the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong said.

(Armstrong insisted later that he had said "a'' before man, but said he, too, couldn't hear it in the version that went to the world.)


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