Cochran, Jacqueline (1910-80), American aviator and business executive, born in Pensacola, Florida. An orphan, she left her foster home and went to work at an early age. By 1935 she had a pilot's license and her own cosmetics firm. Cochran holds many records. She was the first woman to fly in the Bendix Trophy Transcontinental Race (1934), to win it (1938), to pilot a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean (1941), to receive the Distinguished Service Medal (1945, as head of Women's Airforce Service Pilots of World War II), to break the sound barrier (1953), to take off from and land on an aircraft carrier (1960), to attain a flying speed of 1355 km/hr (842 mph) (1961), and to serve as president of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (she was elected in 1959). As a pilot, Cochran received more than 200 awards and trophies. Her autobiography, The Stars at Noon, was published in 1954.