Bessie Coleman

Born: 1892
Birthplace: Atlanta, Texas

Bessie Coleman picked cotton as a child, but her mother was determined that her thirteen children get an education. Bessie graduated from high school and went to Chicago where she worked in a barber shop, ran a chili parlor, and discovered airplanes. Unable to find an aviation school that would teach a black woman to fly, she went to Paris. She became the first black woman to receive a pilot's license and the first woman to get an international pilot's license. Bessie returned to the United States where she lectured and gave shows while trying to establish a flight school for blacks. She was killed when her plane nose dived and she fell to her death.

Died: 1926
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