Distinguished Women of Past and Present


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Amelia Earhart

From: United States: Kansas, Massachusetts
Fields: Aviation and Space Exploration, Literature and Poetry
Key Words/Phrases: aviatrix, pilot, aviation pioneer, author
Earhart, Amelia (1898-1937), American aviator, noted for her flights across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and her attempt to fly around the world. She was born in Atchison, Kansas, and educated at Columbia University and Harvard Summer School. In 1928 she accepted the invitation of the American pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon to join them as a passenger on a transatlantic flight, becoming the first woman to make the crossing by air. She described the flight in the book 20 Hrs. 40 Min. (1928); she later wrote The Fun of It (1931). In 1932 she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean alone, establishing a new record for the crossing: 13 hr 30 min. For this feat she was awarded honors by the American and French governments. In 1935 she became the first woman to fly the Pacific Ocean, crossing from Hawaii to California. Later the same year she set a speed record by flying nonstop from Mexico City to New York City in 14 hr 19 min. In June 1937 she began a flight around the world, flying eastward from Miami, Florida, accompanied by Frederick J. Noonan, a navigator. Their plane disappeared on July 2, while en route from Lae, New Guinea, to Howland Island. An extensive search by planes and ships of the United States Navy failed to discover any trace of the lost flyers, and their fate remains a mystery. Shortly after Earhart's disappearance, her husband, the book publisher George Palmer Putnam, edited and published Last Flight (1937), a book consisting largely of her diary of the ill-fated journey, transmitted from the various stopping places on the way.

"Earhart, Amelia" Microsoft® Encarta.
Copyright© 1995 Microsoft Corporation.


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