Annie Glenn was born Anna Margaret Castor on February 17, 1920, to Homer and Margaret Castor of Columbus, Ohio. In 1923, the family moved to New Concord, Ohio, where Dr. Castor opened a dental practice. The Castors soon became friends with the family of John Hershel Glenn, Sr., so Annie Castor and John H. Glenn, Jr. were childhood playmates at a very young age. They developed into high school sweethearts, and after John, Jr. received his commission in the U.S. Marine Corps, they were married on April 6, 1943.
Annie and John Glenn both attended the public schools in New Concord and continued their educations at Muskingum College, a small liberal arts college in New Concord. An accomplished organist, Annie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1942, with a major in music and a minor in secretarial science. During John Glenn’s military career, she served as an organist for the churches attended by the family and occasionally worked as a secretary. Their son David was born in 1945 and daughter Lynn in 1947.
Like her father, Annie Glenn grew up with a severe speech impediment that caused her to stutter eight-five percent of her words. In 1973, she completed an intensive program at the Communications Research Institute at Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia. Although she does not consider herself “cured,” she now speaks freely and gives speeches at public events.
Always active in community service, Annie Glenn has had a lifelong interest in programs for children, the elderly, and the handicapped. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Center for Survivors of Childhood Abuse and serves on the Advisory Board for the National First Ladies’ Library. She serves on the National Deafness and Other Communications Disorders Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health. She also is a member of the Advisory Panel of the Central Ohio Speech and Hearing Association.
In 1983, she received the first national award of the American Speech and Hearing Association for “providing an inspiring model for people with communicative disorders.” The National Association for Hearing and Speech Action honored her in 1987 by asking her to present the first annual “Annie Glenn Award” for achieving distinction despite a communicative disorder. Mr. James Earl Jones was the first recipient of the “Annie Glenn Award.”
With her husband, Annie Glenn serves on the Board of Trustees of Muskingum College and on the Advisory Board of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. She also serves Ohio State as an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the Department of Speech and Hearing Science.
Other memberships have included the Ohio Board of Child Abuse, the Board of Columbus (Ohio) Speech and Hearing Center, and the Society of Sponsors, an organization of persons who have christened ships. Among her many honors, Annie Glenn is a member of the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Hall of Excellence of the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges in 1999.
Throughout her life, Annie has accompanied her husband on trips that took them across the country and around the world. She still serves as navigator and radio operator when they fly in their own plane for trips between the homes they maintain outside Washington, DC and in Columbus, Ohio. In private life, Annie enjoys family activities, especially those involving her two grandsons. She has a longstanding interest in American folk art and crafts, and collects quilts, other types of needlework, and historical household items from the small towns of Ohio.