Amelia Earhart

Aviator / Missing Person

Born: 24 July 1897
Died: 2 July 1937 (presumed dead in plane crash at sea )
Birthplace: Atchison, Kansas
Best known as: The pioneering female pilot who disappeared in the South Pacific in 1937

Aviation legend Amelia Earhart is most famous for the mysterious circumstances of her death: she disappeared in 1937 somewhere in the South Pacific, near the end of an attempted round-the-world flight. Before her disappearance, Amelia Earhart was one of the most famous women in America. She had set many flight records, including becoming the first woman to fly solo across both the Atlantic Ocean (in 1932) and the Pacific Ocean (in 1935). She also was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic in a multi-person plane, making the crossing in 1928 with pilot Wilmer Stultz and Lou Gordon. She and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared near Howland Island in the South Pacific on 2 July 1937, on one of the last legs of their around-the-world flight. Despite extensive searches at the time (and in the years since), no clear evidence has ever been found of Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan, or their plane. She authored the books 20 Hours, 40 Minutes (1928, about her first trans-Atlantic flight) and The Fun of It (1932).

Extra credit:

Amelia Earhart was married to publisher George Putnam from 1931 until her death… She was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress in 1932 (the DFC was later restricted to military recipients only)… Amelia Earhart was sometimes called “Lady Lindy,” a reference to famous flier Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic… Amelia Earhart has been played onscreen by Diane Keaton (in the 1994 TV movie Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight), by Amy Adams (in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, 2009) and by Hilary Swank (in Amelia, 2009).

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