Amelia Earhart

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Amelia Earhart
BirthplaceAtchison, Kansas, U.S.
Known for First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and setting many aviation records.

Earhart, Amelia

Earhart, Amelia (ârˈhärt), 1897–1937, American aviator, b. Atchison, Kans. She was the first woman to cross the Atlantic by airplane (1928) and the first woman to make a solo flight across the Atlantic (1932). She was also the first person to fly alone from Honolulu to California and to solo nonstop from California to Mexico (both: 1935). In 1937, she attempted with a copilot, Frederick J. Noonan, to fly around the world at the equator, but her plane was lost on the flight between New Guinea and Howland Island. In 1992, a search party reported finding remnants of Earhart's plane on Nikumaroro (formerly Gardner Island), Kiribati, but their claims were disputed by people who had worked on Earhart's plane. Other artifacts that could be from Earhart's flight (but no clear evidence) have been found on Nikumaroro, and her fate remains a mystery. Geraldine Mock later became (1964) the first woman to complete Earhart's round-the-world route. Earhart was married (1931) to George Palmer Putnam, who wrote (1939) a laudatory biography of her.


See biographies by M. S. Lovell (1989), D. L. Rich (1996), and S. Butler (1997, repr. 2009); T. E. Devine and R. Daley, Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident (1987); S. Ware, Still Missing (1993); C. Szabo, Sky Pioneer (1997); T. C. Brennan and R. Rosenbaum, Witness to the Execution: The Odyssey of Amelia Earhart (1999); K. Lubben and E. Barnett, ed., Amelia Earhart: Image and Icon (2007).

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Earhart, Amelia

(1897–1937?) aviatrix vanished in 1937 amid speculation and gossip. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 819]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Earhart, Amelia (Mary)

(1897–?1937) aviator; born in Atchison, Kans. During World War I, Earhart worked as a nurses' aide in Toronto, Canada. She then attended several schools including two stints at Columbia University, held odd jobs in California, and became a settlement house worker in Boston in 1926. She had first flown in Los Angeles in 1920 and within a year made a solo flight. In 1928 she participated in a transatlantic flight with Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon, becoming the first woman to fly the Atlantic. In 1932, flying solo, she set a transatlantic record of 14 hours, 56 minutes. In the following year she flew two more record-setting transatlantic flights. In 1937, by now a public favorite, she embarked on an equatorial world trip. She ceased communications on July 2, shortly after leaving New Guinea with her navigator Frederick Noonan. Several extensive searches revealed nothing. Her husband, George Putnam, posthumously published her autobiography, Last Flight (1938).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.