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Widow of Yuri Gagarin, first human in space, dies at 84

Ms. Gagarin, with husband, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
Ms. Gagarin, with husband, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.Associated Press/File/Associated Press

MOSCOW — Valentina Gagarin, the widow of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to fly to space, died Tuesday. She was 84.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos announced Valentina Gagarin’s death in a short statement, offering condolences to her relatives. It didn’t give any details about the cause or circumstances of her death.

Born Valentina Goryacheva, she married Gagarin in 1957. After Gagarin’s pioneering April 12, 1961, space flight, Ms. Gagarin appeared alongside him at official events but mostly sought to avoid the limelight.

Following Gagarin’s 1968 death in an air crash, Ms. Gagarin worked as a biochemical expert at the Star City cosmonaut training center outside Moscow. She dodged the media but published a book of memoirs about her husband.