Neil Armstrong, whose iconic steps on the moon immortalized outer space travel forever, has died at the age of 82.

Armstrong had undergone heart surgery earlier this month. His family announced the news with this statement:

We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. 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. For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

On July 20, 1969, some 250,000 miles away from earth, Armstrong stepped off the Apollo 11 lunar module and took the first steps ever taken on the moon. His words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," will live as some of the most famous ever spoken.

When the "Eagle" landed on the moon 43 years ago, it solidified the United States' space program as the premier organization of its kind in the world, in the midst of constant competition for space travel between the Americans and Russia.

Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930, and walked on the moon at age 38. He lived a mostly private, humble life after his famous walk.

Rest in peace to a true American hero.