MNN Galleries

10 famous female aviators

By: Matt Hickman on April 24, 2017, 9:43 a.m.
Amelia Earhart

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

4 of 13

Amelia Earhart

This pioneering female aviator's claim to fame is well-known: in May 1932, the Kansas-born record-breaker became the first woman to fly solo, nonstop, across the Atlantic Ocean. Only one person, Charles Lindbergh, had previously accomplished that feat. In 1937, she disappeared at the age of 39 under mysterious circumstances in the central Pacific while making a round-the-world trip.

In addition to her famous transatlantic flight, Earhart became the first woman to fly solo, nonstop, across the United States from Los Angeles to Newark in 1932. Earhart was the first pilot, male or female, to fly solo from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland (1935). Additionally, she was the first person to fly solo between Los Angeles and Mexico City and between Mexico City and Newark (also in 1935). Before taking control in the cockpit during her famous long-haul solo flights in 1932, Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as a passenger (1928).

A prolific author and essayist, Earhart served as an editor of Cosmopolitan magazine from 1928 to 1930. An accomplished seamstress, Earhart designed and endorsed her own fashion line sold at Macy's. She is believed to be the first celebrity to do so.