Amelia Earhart was a US aviator who set a lot of flying records and also championed the advancement of women in aviation. She was the first woman ever to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean and was the first individual ever to fly solo from Hawaii to the US continent.

During a flight around the world, Earhart disappeared someplace over the Pacific in July 1937. Her plane wreckage was never discovered and she was officially declared as lost at sea. Her disappearance remains as one of the greatest puzzling mysteries of the twentieth century.

Early Life

Earhart’s father was a railroad attorney and her mother came from a wealthy family. While still a child, Earhart showed an adventuresome and independent nature for which she would become known for later. Following the death of her grandparents, the family battled financially amidst her father’s alcoholism.

The Earharts frequently moved and she finished high school in Chicago in 1916. After her mother got her inheritance, Earhart was able to go to the Ogontz School in Rydal, Pennsylvania. However, during a trip to her sister in Canada, Amelia formed an interest in caring for soldiers who were wounded in World War I. In 1918 she left junior college so that she could become a nurse’s aide in Toronto.

Earhart’s Life Changed Considerably In 1928

This was when publisher George Putnam — seeking to capitalise on public enthusiasm for Charles Lindbergh’s transcontinental flight that took place a year earlier — tapped Earhart to become the first woman to traverse the Atlantic by plane.

She succeeded, though, as a passenger. However when the flight from Newfoundland touched down in Wales on June 17, 1928, Earhart turned out to be a media sensation and symbol of what women were able to achieve. Putnam remained as her promoter, publishing her two books: 20 Hrs. 40 Mins. (1928) and The Fun of It (1932). Earhart wed Putnam in 1931 although she retained her maiden name and considered the marriage to be an equal partnership.

The Ninety-Nines

Earhart constantly worked to motivate for opportunities for women in aviation.

In 1929, after coming third in the All-Women’s Air Derby — which was the very first transcontinental air race for women — Earhart assisted with forming the Ninety-Nines, an international organisation for the advancement of female pilots.

She became the first president of the organisation of licensed pilots, which still is in existence today and represents female pilots from 44 countries.

Earhart’s popularity brought about prospects from a short-lived fashion business to a spell as aviation editor at Cosmopolitan (which was then a family magazine). It also brought financing for successive record-breaking flights in speed and distance, both of which were like hitting the jackpot with Canadian slots online.

Aviation Advisor

In 1935, Purdue University took on Earhart as aviation advisor and career counsellor for women and bought the Lockheed plane that she dubbed her “flying laboratory.” On 1 June 1937, she left Miami with navigator Fred Noonan, looking to become the first woman to fly all around the world. With 7 000 miles left, the plane lost radio contact near the Howland Islands. It was never found, in spite of an extensive search that continued for decades.

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