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1st man on the moon Neil Armstrong dies

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CINCINNATI, OH (AP) -- The family of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, says he has died at age 82.

A statement from the family says he died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. It doesn't say where he died.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969. He radioed back to Earth the historic news of "one giant leap for mankind."

An estimated 600 million people - a fifth of the world's population - watched and listened to the landing, the largest audience for any single event in history.

Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs. In all, 12 Americans walked on the moon from 1969 to 1972.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says "as long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them."

Bolden issued a statement on Saturday on the famed astronaut's death at age 82. He says Armstrong will be "remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own."

Bolden says Armstrong was "one of America's greatest explorers" who readily accepted President John F. Kennedy's challenge to send an American to the moon.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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