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Amelia Earhart

1897 - ??

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AMELIA MARY EARHART 

Born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas in the home of her grandparents to attorney Edward Stanton EARHART, and Amelia "Amy" OTIS. Amelia was the second child born to the couple -- a daughter in 1896 was stillborn. Amelia had a sister when Muriel Grace EARHART was born in December of 1899. Muriel came to be known as "Pidge".

During Amelia' s childhood, the family moved quite often. Soon after Amelia's birth in Atchison, the family lived at 1021 Ann Ave., in Kansas City. At the age of 19, she attended the Ogontz School in Pennsylvania, and later worked at a military hospital as a nurses aid in Toronto. She even enrolled in pre-med at Columbia University in 1919.

Amelia took her first flying lessons in 1921, and her life would never be the same. One of Amelia's first adventures came in 1922 when she flew to an altitude of 14,000 feet --this was higher than a woman had ever flown.

Edwin & Amy, her parents, divorced in 1924, forcing Amelia to put flying on hold and remove to Massachusetts so she could be with her mother and sister. The three settled in Medford and Amelia got a job teaching English. Flying never left Amelia's mind and soon she was back at it. She became good at it -- very good.

June 17, 1928 was a landmark date; Amelia flew across the Atlantic as a passenger. She always played this down, during the great publicity following the flight, and was even somewhat embarrassed by the fact that she never even got to touch the controls. However, it only spurred on her desire for greater flights. More speed and altitude records followed suit. During this time she met George Palmer Putnam and they were wed on February 7, 1931 on the Connecticut shore. On May 20, 1932, she took another step in aviation history becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

On August 25, 1932, she became the first woman to fly across the U.S. nonstop and on January 11, 1935, she flew nonstop from Honolulu to Oakland across the Pacific.

Soon, the only task left for Amelia to accomplish was a trip around the world, and early in 1937 she decided to do just that. With her navigator, Fred Noonan, Amelia's Electra took off from Oakland, California on St. Patrick's Day 1937. Taking off to the west and headed for Honolulu, this first attempt was unsuccessful after damaging the plane in Hawaii.

Her second attempt began on May 20, 1937 and this time she took off to the east. After completing more than 80% of the journey, Amelia and Fred disappeared on July 2, 1937 near Howland Island in the Pacific, supposedly after running out of fuel. The plane and its pioneers were never located.

View Amelia's family tree.