(CNN) - Major political figures, including President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, reacted on Saturday to the death of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.
President Barack Obama
"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Neil Armstrong. Neil was among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time. When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable – that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten.
"Today, Neil's spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown – including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure – sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step."
Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate
“Neil Armstrong today takes his place in the hall of heroes. With courage unmeasured and unbounded love for his country, he walked where man had never walked before. The moon will miss its first son of earth. I met and spoke with Neil Armstrong just a few weeks ago–his passion for space, science and discovery, and his devotion to America will inspire me through my lifetime.”
Gov. Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio
"Neil Armstrong was a true American hero, both because of his extraordinary service to his country and the honorable life he led. He was a groundbreaking Naval aviator and the world's most famous astronaut, but it was his humble and gracious response to the torrent of attention that followed his accomplishments that may have set him apart most. For my family and me, he was a dear friend whose ready smile, quick wit and thoughtful gestures will be greatly missed. Our love and prayers go to his wife, Carol, and the other members of his wonderful family."
House Speaker John Boehner
“A true hero has returned to the Heavens to which he once flew. Neil Armstrong blazed trails not just for America, but for all of mankind. He inspired generations of boys and girls worldwide not just through his monumental feat, but with the humility and grace with which he carried himself to the end. Ohio has lost one of her proudest sons. Humanity has gained a legend.”
Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, via Twitter
"Rest in peace Neil Armstrong - thank you for allowing us all to dream and for your giant leap for mankind"