5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT JANET ARMSTRONG
It’s been close to 50 years since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon but very little was known about his wife Janet until now. Her journey as wife of the pioneering astronaut is about to be unveiled, thanks to upcoming film First Man, starring Hollywood heavyweights Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy.
Janet and Neil met at Purdue University in the early ’50s when she was studying home economics. After meeting at a dinner party, they were casual acquaintances for three years before marrying in 1956. Ultimately, the couple’s marriage didn’t last – after 38 years of marriage they quietly divorced in 1994.
2 FAMILY TRAGEDY
In 1962, the couple faced unimaginable heartbreak when they lost their two-year-old daughter Karen to brain cancer. To deal with the loss, Neil threw himself into his work, becoming an astronaut the same year, and left Janet alone to deal with family fallout. They later welcomed two sons, Mark and Eric, in the following years.
3 HOUSE FIRE
The Armstrongs had a near brush with death when their Houston home caught fififire fire in the spring of 1964. Janet awoke in the middle of the night to the smell of smoke and the home burned to cinders. Neil saved the couple’s children, passing their 10-month-old son Mark through a window and described the trek to Eric’s bedroom to save him as, “the longest journey I ever made in my life”.
4 TO THE MOON
Before the iconic moon landing, Janet was quoted supporting her husband’s dangerous endeavour. “I understand my husband’s love for his work. I have never doubted his capabilities nor feared his flights,” she said.
Janet passed away on June 21, 2018, at the age of 84, from lung cancer.
IN CINEMAS Thursday
First Man Neil Armstrong’s wife Janet is the star in this story.
Ryan and Claire as Neil and Janet.