Born in 1897, Amelia Earhart was an American aviation pioneer, feminist and author. Aged 23, she visited an airfield with her father where Frank Hawks gave her a ride that would change her life. “By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly.” she said.
Working at a variety of jobs including photographer, truck driver, and stenographer, she saved $1,000 for flying lessons and in 1923, Earhart became the 16th woman in the United States to be issued a pilot’s license.
Amelia was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean (1932). Celebrity endorsements helped finance her flying. Accepting a position as associate editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, she turned this forum into an opportunity to campaign for greater public acceptance of aviation, especially focusing on the role of women entering the field.
As her fame grew, she developed friendships with many people in high offices, most notably First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who shared many of her interests and passions, especially women’s causes. However, during a 1937 attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe, Amelia and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean and no trace of them or the plane has ever been found.