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Discovering Neil Armstrong’s Daughter: Karen’s Tragic Death and Her Father’s Moon Landing Motivation.

See who Neil Armstrong’s daughter was and how her tragic death inspired him to become the first person to walk on the moon. Learn more here.

Who is Neil Armstrong’s daughter?

You know who Neil Armstrong is, right? He’s only the first person to walk on the moon. No big deal. He’s just a super famous astronaut who continues to inspire science lovers and space enthusiasts everywhere.

Neil and his wife, Janet Elizabeth Shearon, tied the knot in 1956 and had three kids – Eric, Karen, and Mark.

Sadly, Neil’s life was marked by a tragic event – the death of his daughter, Karen. But instead of letting it defeat him, Neil used it as motivation to achieve something truly out of this world. According to Armstrong’s biography by journalist Jay Barbee, Karen’s passing inspired her father to become the first man to walk on the moon.

So, who is Neil Armstrong’s daughter? While she may not have made history like her dad, Karen played a significant role in his journey to the moon.


What disease did Neil Armstrong’s daughter have?

Neil Armstrong’s daughter, Karen Anne Armstrong, had DIPG or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. This is a malignant tumor that occurs around the middle part or pons of one’s brain stem.

How did Neil Armstrong’s daughter die?

Baby Karen Anne Armstrong just celebrated her second birthday when a few months later, she fell while playing at a park. This was the first sign of her disease. She got a bump on her head during that fall. Just a few hours later at home, her mom noticed that Karen’s nose was bleeding and, apparently, she had a concussion.

In that same evening, little Karen couldn’t see properly anymore and, eventually, she had a hard time walking.

She was then rushed to the hospital and was diagnosed with DIPG. In an attempt to cure her, this very young child had to go through radiation therapy, which was a huge burden on her tiny body.

There were relief and some positive signs after that, but the symptoms appeared again in 1961. She had to undergo cobalt treatment meant to destroy the cancerous cell. However, this also has a side effect of negatively impacting healthy cells, which further affected her health.

Eventually, there wasn’t anything else the doctors could do so her parents brought her home. Shortly after Christmas that year, Karen Anne Armstrong passed away.

When did Neil Armstrong’s daughter die?

Karen Anne Armstrong died on January 28, 1962.

This tragic event occurred on Neil and his wife’s sixth wedding anniversary.

How old was Neil Armstrong’s daughter when she died?

Karen was only a little over 2 years old when she passed away.

Karen Anne Armstrong Snapshots


What is Muffie’s crater?

Muffie’s crater is what Neil Armstrong fondly called one of the relatively small craters he saw upon landing on the moon.

“Muffie” or “Muffy” was what he and his wife affectionately called little Karen Anne.

Upon landing on the moon, he noticed this baby crater, and according to the biography about the astronaut, it made him think of his daughter.

A snippet from the biography states that “He (Neil Armstrong) stood there, remembering how Muffie would have loved sliding down into the pit. He had an overwhelming urge to do it for her. But then better judgment grabbed him. He settled for taking pictures and describing what he saw before heading back.”


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