Neil Armstrong: 'One of the greatest American heroes of all time'
Rupert CornwellNeil Armstrong, the US astronaut whose grainy image on television transfixed the world on 20 July, 1969 as he climbed down from the tiny lunar module and became the first human to set foot on the Moon, has died at the age of 82, of complications from heart surgery.
The news came yesterday in a brief statement from his family. It did not specify where or exactly when Armstrong, who underwent a bypass earlier this month to relieve blocked coronary arteries, had died. It described him as "a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job".
Those words capture the essence of a man whose head was never turned by global celebrity, despite a feat that vaulted him into the company of history's greatest explorers and pioneers, alongside Columbus and Magellan, and his compatriots the Wright brothers and Charles Lindbergh. As President Barack Obama said last night: "Neil was among the greatest of American heroes - not just of his time, but of all time. When he stepped foot on the surface of the Moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten."
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"Neil Armstrong: 'One of the greatest American heroes of all time'", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), août 2012. Consulté le 03/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/archives/archives-revue-de-presse/neil-armstrong-one-of-the-greatest-american-heroes-of-all-time-