Astronaut, USC alumnus Neil Armstrong dead at 82

Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the commander of Apollo 11 and first man to set foot on the moon, died Saturday, weeks after heart surgery, his family confirmed through a statement. He was 82.

Armstrong underwent cardiac bypass surgery earlier this month, just two days following his birthday.

“We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures,” his family said in a statement. “Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.”

Armstrong, who attended USC for graduate school, became an American icon when he landed on the moon July 20, 1969. “That’s one step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind,” he famously reported back to Earth.

Armstrong graduated from USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering in 1970 with a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. He was born on Aug. 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

In 2005, Armstrong addressed graduates at USC’s commencement, urging students to develop strong values and principles.

“You can lose your health to illness or accident,” he said. “You can lose your wealth to all manner of unpredictable sources. What are not easily stolen from you without your cooperation are your principles and your values. They are your most important possessions and, if carefully selected and nurtured, will well serve you and your fellow man. Society’s future will depend on a continuous improvement program for the human character.”

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