When Neil Armstrong became the first human to ever set foot on the moon, he instantly became one of the most famous people of the 20th century.
Armstrong will always be enshrined in history as an American hero, but he described himself as a "nerdy engineer" from Ohio. Since news broke of his death Saturday, there has naturally been an outpouring of information about the astronaut, much of it giving glimpses into the life he led before and after Apollo 11.
John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, on more than one occasion indicated he held Armstrong in high regard, no easy feat for just anyone. "To this day, he's the one person on Earth, I'm truly, truly envious of," Glenn said in 2003, according to the Associated Press. "When I think of Neil, I think of someone who for our country was dedicated enough to dare greatly," Glenn said Saturday, the AP reported.
Despite all the praise Armstrong attracted in life, he seemed to never let it get to his head. When the astronaut was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009, he reminded his audience of the uncertainty that surrounded Apollo 11 when the mission was in its infancy.
"Prisoners were suggested. Soldiers could be ordered," Armstrong said. (Check out the rest of his comments by clicking here.)
Armstrong rarely gave interviews, shunning the media for much of his life and authorizing a biography only when he was 75 years old, according to an interview he gave to "60 Minutes." During that conversation, he also revealed he got his pilot's license when he was just a kid -- before he got his driver's license.
Mental Floss reported that Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin left a plaque on the moon signed by the Apollo 11 crew members and U.S. President Richard Nixon. It read, "Here men from the planet Earth, First set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D., We came in peace for all mankind."
Perhaps most surprisingly, Armstrong claimed his most famous line had been misquoted. Instead of "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," he contended he said "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind [emphasis added]," according to Mental Floss. Years after the words were uttered, an Australian computer programmer dug into NASA's computer files and discovered the missing syllable.
In 2005, Armstrong's barber sold clippings of his hair to a collector, Reuters reported. The collector didn't give the hair back even though Armstrong was mad about the situation, saying it was being added to his collection of hair from Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Napoleon, and others.
All of Armstrong's achievements at NASA almost didn't happen because his astronaut application form arrived past the deadline, Mental Floss tweeted following the news of his death. Luckily for him, and Americans everywhere, one of Armstrong's friends was able to put his application form in with the ones that had arrived on time.