Mary Amelia Earhart (1897 –1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
When 10-year-old Amelia saw her first plane at a state fair, she was not impressed. “It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and looked not at all interesting,” she dismissively said. It wasn’t until she attended a stunt-flying exhibition, almost a decade later, that she became seriously interested in aviation.
A pilot spotted Ameilia and her friend, who were watching from an isolated clearing, and dove at them. “I am sure he said to himself, ‘Watch me make them scamper,'” she exclaimed. Amelia, who felt a mixture of fear and pleasure, stood her ground. As the plane swooped by, something inside her awakened. “I did not understand it at the time,” she admitted, “but I believe that little red airplane said something to me as it swished by.” On December 28, 1920, pilot Frank Hawks gave her a ride that would forever change her life. “By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly.”
Although Amelia’s convictions were strong, challenging, prejudicial, and financial obstacles awaited her, but the former tomboy was no stranger to disapproval or doubt. Defying conventional feminine behavior, a young Earhart climbed trees, “belly slammed” her sled to start it downhill, and hunted rats with a .22 rifle. She also kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about successful women in predominantly male-oriented fields, including film direction and production, law, advertising, management, and mechanical engineering.
Read more about the one and only Amelia on her personal website.