By now you've probably heard the sad, sad news that Neil Armstrong, the first man ever to walk on the moon, has passed away at 82 years of age. The American hero underwent heart surgery in early August to relieve blocked coronary arteries, and unfortunately, on August 25, he died due to complications from the procedure.
Despite being one of the most celebrated heroes of all time, Armstrong was also one of the biggest targets. As you may know, the astronaut, a self-proclaimed "nerdy engineer", shunned the spotlight over the years, never wanting to be the center of attention. But he was for obvious reasons, and he also had plenty of people trying to profit from the great work he did -- and the great words he said. I bet those people are feeling pretty foolish right now.
When MTV first launched their network in 1981, they wanted to use Armstrong's famed quote -- "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" -- to coincide with their image of Apollo 11 landing. Armstrong, wisely, said no. And it's a good thing. It would be a ridiculous juxtaposition having one of the most famous quotes from one of the world's most famed heroes as the motto for the station that broadcasts shows like Jersey Shore and The Pauly D Project.
Then, in 1994, Armstrong got involved in a legal battle with Hallmark after the company used a recording of that very quote in a Christmas ornament without his permission. Armstrong and the card company settled out of court, and he donated the money he received to Purdue.
And at one point in Armstrong's life, he learned that his barber of 20 years had sold locks of his hair to a collector for $3,000 without his knowledge or permission. Armstrong demanded that the barber returned his hair or donated the proceeds to the charity of Armstrong's choice. Since the barber couldn't get back the hair, he donated the money.
Needless to say, it's pretty sad that this is the world we live in -- a world where somebody does something great and other people try to profit off of it. Armstrong was most certainly the victim of people trying to make a buck off of him over the years -- and he always fought the good fight and won. And because of this, he won't just be remembered for the impact he had on the scientific world, he'll be remembered for his modesty, which was almost as impressive.
What do you think of this?