Amelia Earhart Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1897 – 1937 *** Full Name: Amelia Mary Earhart *** Nickname: Meeley *** Occupation: American Aviation Pioneer and Author *** Date of Birth: Amelia Earhart was born on July 24th 1897 *** Place of Birth: Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas, USA *** Family background: Her father was Samuel “Edwin” Stanton Earhart, a lawyer, and her mother Amelia “Amy” Otis. Her maternal grandfather, Alfred Gideon Otis had formerly been a federal judge as well as the President of the Atchison Savings Bank *** Early life and childhood: Amelia Earhart grew up with her younger sister Grace “Pidge” *** Education: Amelia Earhart did not receive a conventional upbringing, their mother Amy, felt her children should be free to express themselves and not molded in “nice little girls”, though would however, eventually attend school having been home schooled for some years. Amelia Earhart attended a public school initially before being enrolled in the Central High School and when the family moved she enrolled at Hyde Park High School, nor the nearest school to where she lived, but with the best equipped chemistry lab***
Amelia Earhart Fact 1: Amelia Earhart was born on July 24th 1897 and during the latter part of the 19th century period in history when great strides were made in the industrial revolution, the Victoria era was coming to a close and there were vast technological advances being made particularly in aviation.
Amelia Earhart Fact 2: Her childhood had not been a particularly happy or stable one. It would transpire that her father was a drinker which would become evident when funds became strained. When her grandfather died he left the children money in a trust to make sure they would receive it.
Amelia Earhart Fact 3: Eventually her mother took Amelia and her sister to live with friends in Chicago.
Amelia Earhart Fact 4: When Amelia Earhart had completed her high school education, Amelia applied to and attended Ogontz School in Rydal, Pennsylvania but was unable to complete her course.
Amelia Earhart Fact 5: In 1917 as World War I was raging, Amelia Earhart visited her sister in Canada, Toronto and would see the wounded soldiers returning. She acquired training from the Red Cross as a nurse’s aide and took up working for the Volunteer Aid Detachment at Spadina Military Hospital.
Amelia Earhart Fact 6: The following year the Spanish flu pandemic had reached Toronto and her nursing duties increased until she herself became a patient with pneumonia and maxillary sinusitis. It took her nearly a year to recover from this bout of illness particularly with the sinus problems and constant necessity for drainage.
Amelia Earhart Fact 7: Her first interest in flying occurred around this time as she together with a friend attend an air fair show in Toronto.
Amelia Earhart Fact 8: In 1919 Amelia Earhart readied herself to enter Smith College but a last minute change of heart saw her enter Columbia instead to study medicine besides other programs. However, she dropped out to return to her parents who had come together in California.
Amelia Earhart Fact 9: While out with her father in Long Beach in December of 1920 they visited an airfield where she was taken for a flight by Frank Hawks, later he would become an air racer, and Amelia Earhart knew within moments that flying was what she wanted to do.
Amelia Earhart Fact 10: Amelia Earhart proceeded to work various jobs in order to save money to take flying lessons, working as a stenographer, photographer and even a truck driver until she had saved one thousand dollars.
Amelia Earhart Fact 11: Amelia Earhart had her first flying lesson on January 3rd of 1920 and her pilot instructor would be Anita Snook, a female pioneer aviator herself.
Amelia Earhart Fact 12: She continued with her lessons, early mornings and extra work. She even saved enough money to buy her own plane, a second hand Kinner Airster biplane in bright yellow that she nicknamed “The Canary”.
Amelia Earhart Fact 13: Not only did Amelia Earhart acquire her license from the Federation Aéronautique Internationale as the sixteen woman to do so but she would also become the first woman to reach an altitude of fourteen thousand feet which was a world record for a female pilot.
Amelia Earhart Fact 14: With her funds running short Amelia Earhart sold The Canary and another Kinner and purchased a Kissel “Speedster” two seater automobile in yellow that she called “Yellow Peril”.
Amelia Earhart Fact 15: Amelia Earhart also began to suffer with her sinus problem yet again and would end up being hospitalized for a further procedure which again proved unsuccessful.
Amelia Earhart Fact 16: In 1928 she was part of the crew that made a transatlantic flight and Amelia was the first woman to make that flight but that would not be enough.
Amelia Earhart Fact 17: Amelia Earhart married George P Putnam on February 7th 1931 but together they had no children. George did have two sons by his first marriage, David and George Jr and Amelia was terribly fond of them.
Amelia Earhart Fact 18: On May 20th 1932 Earhart took off from Newfoundland to fly her solo transatlantic flight which she completed fourteen hours and fifty six minutes later landing at Culmore, North of Derry in Northern Ireland. She was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for her efforts.Amelia Earhart Fact 19: Over the next few years Amelia Earhart made solo flying trips between Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California and from Mexico City to New York. Between 1930 and 1935 she set seven speed and distance records for women.
Amelia Earhart Fact 20: In 1937 Earhart began to plan her world flight. After a failed first attempt the second attempt would include only Earhart and Noonan and a change of direction, the new flight path would be from West to East.
Amelia Earhart Fact 21: They began their journey in Oakland and headed for Florida. It was in Florida to Earhart made the public announcement of her intention to circumnavigate the world.
Amelia Earhart Fact 22: They continued on from Florida to South Africa, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. On June 29th 1937 they landed in New Guinea. They had travelled twenty two thousand miles with seven thousand miles remaining, primarily over the Pacific Ocean
Amelia Earhart Fact 23: In 1937 they took off on July 2nd heading for Howland Island. Although there had been sporadic communications with Earhart and the United States Coast Guard Itasca, which was in the vicinity, they eventually lost contact.
Amelia Earhart Fact 24: Amelia Earhart and Noonan were never heard from again and their plane has never been found.
Influence & Legacy: Regardless of the untimely death of Amelia Earhart she nevertheless encouraged a wealth of women interested in aviation to follow their dreams. So much so that during World War II the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) was formed.