Amelia Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Similarly, she set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.
During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island.
She was born as Amelia Mary Earhart on July 24, 1897, and disappeared on July 2, 1937. Earhart was the daughter of Samuel “Edwin” Stanton Earhart (1867–1930) and Amelia “Amy” (née Otis; 1869–1962). Likewise, Amelia was the second child of the marriage after an infant was stillborn in August 1896, she was of part German descent.
The two sisters, Amelia and Muriel (she went by her middle name from her teens on), remained with their grandparents in Atchison, while their parents moved into new, smaller quarters in Des Moines. During this period, Earhart received a form of home-schooling together with her sister, from her mother and a governess. She later recounted that she was “exceedingly fond of reading” and spent countless hours in the large family library.
Earhart was engaged to Samuel Chapman, a chemical engineer from Boston; she broke off the engagement on November 23, 1928. During the same period, Earhart and publisher George P. Putnam had spent a great deal of time together. Putnam, who was known as GP, was divorced in 1929 and sought out Earhart. Earhart was ready to marry him after proposing to her six times before she finally agreed.
After substantial hesitation on her part, they married on February 7, 1931, in Putnam’s mother’s house in Noank, Connecticut. Earhart referred to her marriage as a “partnership” with “dual control”. In a letter written to Putnam and hand-delivered to him on the day of the wedding, she wrote, “I want you to understand I shall not hold you to any midaevil [sic] code of faithfulness to me nor shall I consider myself bound to you similarly.” She continued, “I may have to keep someplace where I can go to be by myself, now and then, for I cannot guarantee to endure at all times the confinement of even an attractive cage.”
In 1967, Ann Dearing Holtgren Pellegrino and a crew of three flew a similar aircraft (a Lockheed 10A Electra) to complete a world flight that closely mirrored Earhart’s flight plan. On the 30th anniversary of her disappearance, Pellegrino dropped a wreath in Earhart’s honor over tiny Howland Island and returned to Oakland, completing the 28,000-mile (45,000 km) commemorative flight on July 7, 1967.
In 1997, on the 60th anniversary of Earhart’s world flight, San Antonio businesswoman Linda Finch retraced the final flight path flying the same make and model of aircraft as Earhart, a restored 1935 Lockheed Electra 10E. Finch touched down in 18 countries before finishing the trip two and a half months later when she arrived back at Oakland Airport on May 28, 1997.
- Full Name: Amelia Mary Earhart
- Date of Birth: July 24, 1897
- Birth Place: Atchison, Kansas, U.S.
- Disappeared: July 2, 1937
- Disappeared Place: the Pacific Ocean, en route to Howland Island from Lae, Papua New Guinea
- Status: Declared dead in absentia
- Date of declaration of her death: January 5, 1939
- Aged: 41
- Known for: Many early aviation records, including the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
- Spouse(s): George P. Putnam (m. 1931)
- Education: Columbia University (1919–1920), Hyde Park Academy High School (1916), Central High School
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Reference Amelia Earhart