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Chuck Yeager, Pilot Who Broke the Sound Barrier, Dies at 97

Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier when he tested the X-1 in October 1947, although the feat was not announced to the public until 1948.

His second wife, Victoria, confirmed to CNN Monday night that Yeager had passed after she tweeted from Yeager's verified Twitter account that the World War II flying ace had died.

"An incredible life well lived, America's greatest pilot," she tweeted.

His legacy captured later generations as well, being featured in the book and 1983 film, "The Right Stuff."

"This is a sad day for America," John Nicoletti, Yeager's friend and ground crew chief, told CNN Monday night. "After he broke the sound barrier, we all now have permission to break barriers."

Nicoletti said Yeager had gone through some physical challenges in recent years and had a fall that led to complications and other issues due to his age.

Yeager resided in Northern California, but died in a Los Angeles hospital, Nicoletti said.

"General Yeager represents the best of us. For me, Chuck Yeager will always be the sound of freedom," Nicoletti told CNN.

Read the full story about Chuck Yeager.