Armstrong died following complications from heart-bypass surgery he underwent earlier this month, the family said in a statement, just two days after his birthday on August 5.
On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and his partner Buzz Aldrin made history as the first people to ever walk on the moon. Neil Alden Armstrong was 38 years old at the time and even though he had fulfilled one of mankind’s age-old quests that placed him at the pinnacle of human achievement, he did not revel in his accomplishment. He even seemed frustrated by the acclaim it brought.
“I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work,” Armstrong said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program in 2005.
He once was asked how he felt knowing his footprints would likely stay on the moon’s surface for thousands of years.
“I kind of hope that somebody goes up there one of these days and cleans them up,” he said.
The statement from Armstrong’s family
“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.”