To millions, Russia's first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the embodiment of both Soviet heroism and Russian folk legend: a carpenter's son who ascended into the heavens and returned. To those that knew him, however, he was a talented, handsome and athletic man who, despite his modesty, was destined for greatness. However, while his cult of personality spread throughout the Soviet Union, Yuri himself remained more interested in the cockpit, a dedication which lasted right up until his untimely death.
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