According to NBC News, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, has died at age 82.
He died at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, suffering complications following his recent cardiac bypass surgery.
On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and his partner Buzz Aldrin made history as the first people to ever walk on the moon. From the New York Times article applauding the achievement:
Two Americans, astronauts of Apollo 11, steered their fragile four-legged lunar module safely and smoothly to the historic landing yesterday at 4:17:40 P.M., Eastern daylight time.
Neil A. Armstrong, the 38-year-old civilian commander, radioed to earth and the mission control room here:
"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
A photo of a smiling Armstrong was captured inside the Lunar Module after he completed his historic moonwalk.
On Saturday, Armstrong's family confirmed his death, and released a statement:
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.
Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.
Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.
He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.
As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.
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.”
NASA tweeted a reaction to the news, offering its condolences.
In a statement, President Obama called Armstrong "among the greatest of American heroes - not just of his time, but of all time."
More from The Associated Press:
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Neil Armstrong was a quiet self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made "one giant leap for mankind" with a small step on to the moon. The modest man who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter million miles away has died. He was 82.
Armstrong died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement Saturday from his family said. It didn't say where he died.
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 setting 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 (a) man, one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong said.
In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called "a tender moment" and left a patch commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in action.
"It was special and memorable but it was only instantaneous because there was work to do," Armstrong told an Australian television interviewer in 2012.
Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the lunar surface, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.
"The sights were simply magnificent, beyond any visual experience that I had ever been exposed to," Armstrong once said.
The moonwalk marked America's victory in the Cold War space race that began Oct. 4, 1957, with the launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik 1, a 184-pound satellite that sent shock waves around the world.
Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA's forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamor of the space program.
"I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer," he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. "And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession."
A man who kept away from cameras, Armstrong went public in 2010 with his concerns about President Barack Obama's space policy that shifted attention away from a return to the moon and emphasized private companies developing spaceships. He testified before Congress and in an email to The Associated Press, Armstrong said he had "substantial reservations," and along with more than two dozen Apollo-era veterans, he signed a letter calling the plan a "misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future."
Armstrong's modesty and self-effacing manner never faded.
When he appeared in Dayton in 2003 to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight, he bounded onto a stage before 10,000 people packed into a baseball stadium. But he spoke for only a few seconds, did not mention the moon, and quickly ducked out of the spotlight.
He later joined former astronaut and Sen. John Glenn to lay wreaths on the graves of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Glenn introduced Armstrong and noted it was 34 years to the day that Armstrong had walked on the moon.
"Thank you, John. Thirty-four years?" Armstrong quipped, as if he hadn't given it a thought.
At another joint appearance, the two embraced and Glenn commented: "To this day, he's the one person on Earth, I'm truly, truly envious of."
Armstrong's moonwalk capped a series of accomplishments that included piloting the X-15 rocket plane and making the first space docking during the Gemini 8 mission, which included a successful emergency splashdown.
In the years afterward, Armstrong retreated to the quiet of the classroom and his southwest Ohio farm. Aldrin said in his book "Men from Earth" that Armstrong was one of the quietest, most private men he had ever met.
In the Australian interview, Armstrong acknowledged that "now and then I miss the excitement about being in the cockpit of an airplane and doing new things."
At the time of the flight's 40th anniversary, Armstrong again was low-key, telling a gathering that the space race was "the ultimate peaceful competition: USA versus U.S.S.R. It did allow both sides to take the high road with the objectives of science and learning and exploration."
Glenn, who went through jungle training in Panama with Armstrong as part of the astronaut program, described him as "exceptionally brilliant" with technical matters but "rather retiring, doesn't like to be thrust into the limelight much."
Derek Elliott, curator of the Smithsonian Institution's U.S. Air and Space Museum from 1982 to 1992, said the moonwalk probably marked the high point of space exploration.
The manned lunar landing was a boon to the prestige of the United States, which had been locked in a space race with the former Soviet Union, and re-established U.S. pre-eminence in science and technology, Elliott said.
"The fact that we were able to see it and be a part of it means that we are in our own way witnesses to history," he said.
The 1969 landing met an audacious deadline that President Kennedy had set in May 1961, shortly after Alan Shepard became the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight. (Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin had orbited the Earth and beaten the U.S. into space the previous month.)
"I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth," Kennedy had said. "No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important to the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish."
The end-of-decade goal was met with more than five months to spare. "Houston: Tranquility Base here," Armstrong radioed after the spacecraft settled onto the moon. "The Eagle has landed."
"Roger, Tranquility," the Houston staffer radioed back. "We copy you on the ground. You've got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot."
The third astronaut on the mission, Michael Collins, circled the moon in the mother ship Columbia 60 miles overhead while Armstrong and Aldrin went to the moon's surface.
In all, 12 American astronauts walked on the moon between 1969 and the last moon mission in 1972.
For Americans, reaching the moon provided uplift and respite from the Vietnam War, from strife in the Middle East, from the startling news just a few days earlier that a young woman had drowned in a car driven off a wooden bridge on Chappaquiddick Island by Sen. Edward Kennedy. The landing occurred as organizers were gearing up for Woodstock, the legendary three-day rock festival on a farm in the Catskills of New York.
Armstrong was born Aug. 5, 1930, on a farm near Wapakoneta in western Ohio. He took his first airplane ride at age 6 and developed a fascination with aviation that prompted him to build model airplanes and conduct experiments in a homemade wind tunnel.
As a boy, he worked at a pharmacy and took flying lessons. He was licensed to fly at 16, before he got his driver's license.
Armstrong enrolled in Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering but was called to duty with the U.S. Navy in 1949 and flew 78 combat missions in Korea.
After the war, Armstrong finished his degree from Purdue and later earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He became a test pilot with what evolved into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, flying more than 200 kinds of aircraft from gliders to jets.
Armstrong was accepted into NASA's second astronaut class in 1962 - the first, including Glenn, was chosen in 1959 - and commanded the Gemini 8 mission in 1966. After the first space docking, he brought the capsule back in an emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean when a wildly firing thruster kicked it out of orbit.
Armstrong was backup commander for the historic Apollo 8 mission at Christmastime in 1968. In that flight, Commander Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell and Bill Anders circled the moon 10 times, and paving the way for the lunar landing seven months later.
Aldrin said he and Armstrong were not prone to free exchanges of sentiment.
"But there was that moment on the moon, a brief moment, in which we sort of looked at each other and slapped each other on the shoulder ... and said, `We made it. Good show,' or something like that," Aldrin said.
An estimated 600 million people - a fifth of the world's population - watched and listened to the landing, the largest audience for any single event in history.
Parents huddled with their children in front of the family television, mesmerized by what they were witnessing. Farmers abandoned their nightly milking duties, and motorists pulled off the highway and checked into motels just to see the moonwalk.
Television-less campers in California ran to their cars to catch the word on the radio. Boy Scouts at a camp in Michigan watched on a generator-powered television supplied by a parent.
Afterward, people walked out of their homes and gazed at the moon, in awe of what they had just seen. Others peeked through telescopes in hopes of spotting the astronauts.
In Wapakoneta, media and souvenir frenzy was swirling around the home of Armstrong's parents.
"You couldn't see the house for the news media," recalled John Zwez, former manager of the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum. "People were pulling grass out of their front yard."
Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were given ticker tape parades in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and later made a 22-nation world tour. A homecoming in Wapakoneta drew 50,000 people to the city of 9,000.
In 1970, Armstrong was appointed deputy associate administrator for aeronautics at NASA but left the following year to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
He remained there until 1979 and during that time bought a 310-acre farm near Lebanon, where he raised cattle and corn. He stayed out of public view, accepting few requests for interviews or speeches.
"He didn't give interviews, but he wasn't a strange person or hard to talk to," said Ron Huston, a colleague at the University of Cincinnati. "He just didn't like being a novelty."
Those who knew him said he enjoyed golfing with friends, was active in the local YMCA and frequently ate lunch at the same restaurant in Lebanon.
In February 2000, when he agreed to announce the top 20 engineering achievements of the 20th century as voted by the National Academy of Engineering, Armstrong said there was one disappointment relating to his moonwalk.
"I can honestly say - and it's a big surprise to me - that I have never had a dream about being on the moon," he said.
From 1982 to 1992, Armstrong was chairman of Charlottesville, Va.-based Computing Technologies for Aviation Inc., a company that supplies computer information management systems for business aircraft.
He then became chairman of AIL Systems Inc., an electronic systems company in Deer Park, N.Y.
Armstrong married Carol Knight in 1999, and the couple lived in Indian Hill, a Cincinnati suburb. He had two adult sons from a previous marriage.
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Portrait of Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing mission in his space suit, with his helmet on the table in front of him. Behind him is a large photograph of the lunar surface. (NASA)
A group photo of NASA research pilots at the front door of the Flight Research Center headquarters building. In the front row are (left to right) Milt Thompson, Jack McKay, and Bill Dana. All three flew the X-15, and Thompson and Dana were also involved in the lifting body flights. McKay was injured in a crash landing in X-15 #2. Although he recovered, the injuries eventually forced him to retire from research flying. In the back row (left to right) are Neil Armstrong, Bruce Peterson, Stanley Butchart, and Joe Walker. Armstrong and Walker also both flew the X-15. Soon after this photo was taken, Armstrong was selected as an astronaut, and seven years later became the first man to walk on the Moon. Walker made the highest flight in the X-15, reaching 354,200 feet. He then went on to fly the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, and was killed on June 8, 1966 when his F-104N collided with the XB-70. Peterson made the first flight in the HL-10 lifting body, and was later badly injured in the crash of the M2-F2 lifting body. Butchart flew a wide range of research missions in the 1950s, and was the B-29 drop plane pilot for a number of rocket flight. (NASA)
FILE - This July 20, 1969 file photo provided by NASA shows Apollo 11 commander Neil A. Armstrong inside the Lunar Module while on the lunar surface. Astronauts Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module Pilot, had already completed their extravehicular activity when this picture was made. First moonwalker Armstrong, first American in orbit John Glenn, Mission Control founder Chris Kraft, Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell, first shuttle pilot Robert Crippen and others are pushing for a last minute reprieve for the about-to-be-retired space shuttle fleet. (AP Photo/NASA, file)
Apollo 11 Crew
Portrait of the prime crew of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. From left to right they are: Commander, Neil A. Armstrong, Command Module Pilot, Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot, Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. On July 20th 1969 at 4:18 PM, EDT the Lunar Module "Eagle" landed in a region of the Moon called the Mare Tranquillitatis, also known as the Sea of Tranquillity. After securing his spacecraft, Armstrong radioed back to earth: "Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed". At 10:56 p.m. that same evening and witnessed by a worldwide television audience, Neil Armstrong stepped off the "Eagle's landing pad onto the lunar surface and said: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." He became the first human to set foot upon the Moon. (NASA)
Portrait of Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong in civilian clothes. (NASA)
Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, Gemini 5 backup crew command pilot, sits in the Gemini Static Article 5 spacecraft and prepares to be lowered from the deck of the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever for water egress training in the Gulf. (NASA)
Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong climbs into a boilerplate model of the Gemini spacecraft during water egress training on the Gulf of Mexico. (NASA)
In this photograph, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong walks to the flight crew training building at the NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, one week before the nation?s first lunar landing mission. The Apollo 11 mission launched from KSC via the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) developed Saturn V launch vehicle on July 16, 1969 and safely returned to Earth on July 24, 1969. Aboard the space craft were astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, Command Module (CM) pilot; and Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module (LM) pilot. The CM, ?Columbia?, piloted by Collins, remained in a parking orbit around the Moon while the LM, ?Eagle??, carrying astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin, landed on the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong was the first human to ever stand on the lunar surface, followed by Aldrin. During 2½ hours of surface exploration, the crew collected 47 pounds of lunar surface material for analysis back on Earth. With the success of Apollo 11, the national objective to land men on the Moon and return them safely to Earth had been accomplished. (NASA)
Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, command pilot of the Gemini 8 space flight, sits in the Launch Complex 16 trailer during suiting up operations for the Gemini 8 mission. Suit technician Jim Garrepy assists. (NASA)
Astronaut Neil Armstrong walking through the crowd at the Apollo 11 Twentieth Aniversary Picnic at the Gilruth Center. He is carrying a drink in his hand while talking to the crowd. (NASA)
Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, Apollo 11 commander, participates in simulation training in preparation for the scheduled lunar landing mission. He is in the Apollo Lunar Module Mission SImulator in the Kennedy Space Center's Flight Crew Training Building. (NASA)
Closeup view of Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, command pilot of the Gemini 8 space flight, making final adjustments and checks in the spacecraft during the Gemini 8 prelaunch countdown. (NASA)
Composite photo of President Richard M. Nixon as he telephoned "Tranquility Base" and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. The President: "... For one priceless moment in the history of man, all of the people on this Earth are truly one, one in their pride in what you have done and one in our prayers that you will return safely to Earth." Astronaut Armstrong: "...Thank You, Mr. President. It is a great honor and privilege for us to be here representing not only the United States, but men of peaceable nations, men with an intrest and curiosity, and men with a vision for the future. It is an honor for us to be able to participate here today. (NASA)
Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, wearing an Extravehicular Mobility Unit, participates in a simulation of deploying and using lunar tools on the surface of the moon during a training exercise in bldg 9 on April 22, 1969. Armstrong is the commander of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. In the background is a Lunar Module mockup (32240); Astronaut Edwin Aldrin, Apollo 11 lunar module pilot, simulates deplying the Passive Seismic Experiment Package during trainin exercise in bldg 9 (32241); Armstrong is standing beside Lunar Module mock-up, holding sample bags during training exercise (32242); Aldrin and Armstrong during lunar surface training exercise. Aldrin (on left) uses a scoop to pick up a sample. Armstrong holds bag to receive sample. In the background is a Lunar Module mock-up. Both men are wearing the EMU (32244). (NASA)
Suited Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, wearing an Extravehicular Mobility Unit, participates in lunar surface simulation training on April 18, 1969, in bldg 9, Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). Armstrong is the prime crew commander of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. Here, he simulates scooping up a lunar surface sample. (NASA)
Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong (center), command pilot, and David R. Scott (right), pilot of the Gemini 8 prime crew, are suited up for water egress training aboard the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever in the Gulf of Mexico. At left is Dr. Kenneth N. Beers, M.D., Flight Medicine Branch, Center Medical Office. (NASA)
The research pilots at what in 1962 was called the Flight Research Center standing in front of the X-1E. They are (left to right) Neil Armstrong, Joe Walker, Bill Dana, Bruce Peterson, Jack McKay, Milt Thompson, and Stan Butchart. of the group, Armstrong, Walker, Dana, McKay and Thompson all flew the X-15. Bruce Peterson flew the M2-F2 and HL-10 lifting bodies, while Stan Butchart was the B-29 drop plane pilot for many of the D-558-II and X-1 series research aircraft. (NASA)
The Apollo 11 mission, the first manned lunar mission, launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida via the Saturn V launch vehicle on July 16, 1969 and safely returned to Earth on July 24, 1969. The Saturn V vehicle was developed by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) under the direction of Dr. Wernher von Braun. Aboard were Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, Command Module (CM) pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module (LM) pilot. The CM, piloted by Michael Collins remained in a parking orbit around the Moon while the LM, named ?Eagle??, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, landed on the Moon. Armstrong was the first human to ever stand on the lunar surface, followed by Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin. During 2½ hours of surface exploration, the crew collected 47 pounds of lunar surface material for analysis back on Earth. The recovery operation took place in the Pacific Ocean where Navy para-rescue men recovered the capsule housing the 3-man Apollo 11 crew. The crew was airlifted to safety aboard the U.S.S. Hornet, where they were quartered in a Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF). Here the quarantined Apollo 11 crew members (l to r) Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin, and U.S. President Richard Milhous Nixon share laughs over a comment made by fellow astronaut Frank Borman, Apollo 8 commander. The president was aboard the recovery vessel awaiting return of the astronauts. With the success of Apollo 11, the national objective to land men on the Moon and return them safely to Earth had been accomplished. (NASA)
Famed astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon during the historic Apollo 11 space mission in July 1969, served for seven years as a research pilot at the NACA-NASA High-Speed Flight Station, now the Dryden Flight Research Center, at Edwards, California, before he entered the space program. Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory (later NASA's Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, and today the Glenn Research Center) in 1955. Later that year, he transferred to the High-Speed Flight Station at Edwards as an aeronautical research scientist and then as a pilot, a position he held until becoming an astronaut in 1962. He was one of nine NASA astronauts in the second class to be chosen. As a research pilot Armstrong served as project pilot on the F-100A and F-100C aircraft, F-101, and the F-104A. He also flew the X-1B, X-5, F-105, F-106, B-47, KC-135, and Paresev. He left Dryden with a total of over 2450 flying hours. He was a member of the USAF-NASA Dyna-Soar Pilot Consultant Group before the Dyna-Soar project was cancelled, and studied X-20 Dyna-Soar approaches and abort maneuvers through use of the F-102A and F5D jet aircraft. Armstrong was actively engaged in both piloting and engineering aspects of the X-15 program from its inception. He completed the first flight in the aircraft equipped with a new flow-direction sensor (ball nose) and the initial flight in an X-15 equipped with a self-adaptive flight control system. He worked closely with designers and engineers in development of the adaptive system, and made seven flights in the rocket plane from December 1960 until July 1962. During those fights he reached a peak altitude of 207,500 feet in the X-15-3, and a speed of 3,989 mph (Mach 5.74) in the X-15-1. Armstrong has a total of 8 days and 14 hours in space, including 2 hours and 48 minutes walking on the Moon. In March 1966 he was commander of the Gemini 8 orbital space flight with David Scott as pilot - the first successful docking of two vehicles in orbit. On July 20, 1969, during the Apollo 11 lunar mission, he became the first human to set foot on the Moon. (NASA)
US aviator and former astronaut Neil Armstrong speaks at the Congress Meet the Future, Science & Technology Summit 2010 at the World Forum in The Hague on November 18, 2010. AFP PHOTO/ANP/MARCEL ANTONISSE netherlands out - belgium out (Photo credit should read MARCEL ANTONISSE/AFP/Getty Images)
50th anniversary Of First American to Orbit Earth
OLUMBUS, OHIO - FEBRUARY 20: In this handout provided by NASA, Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong speaks during a celebration dinner at Ohio State University honoring former U.S. Sen. and astronaut John Glenn's 50th anniversary of his flight aboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Glenn's historic flight as the first American to orbit Earth. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)