Joseph Kittinger: highest skydiver for 52 years dies aged 94

US airman almost died in first attempt from 14.5 miles up, eventually jumped from 19 miles and said later ‘there’s no way you can visualise the speed’

The retired US air force colonel Joseph Kittinger, whose 1960 parachute jump from almost 20 miles (32km) above Earth stood as a world record for more than 50 years, has died in Florida aged 94.

His death on Friday was announced by the former US congressman John Mica and other friends. The cause was lung cancer.

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