Amelia Earhart

    Listen 1:00
    Amelia Earhart sitting in an airplane

    Amelia Earhart in an airplane, circa 1936 (Harris & Ewing/Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

    Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and one of the world’s best known aviators.

    In the summer of 1921, Earhart purchased a second-hand plane and set out to make a name for herself in aviation. She had several notable flights, including being the first person to fly over both the Atlantic and Pacific.

    Her personal motto “Adventure is worthwhile in itself ” informed most of her experiences.

    Portrait of the American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, circa 1928 (Copyright by Underwood and Underwood (not renewed)/Public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    Earhart encouraged women to reject social norms and to pursue various professional opportunities, especially in aviation.

    In 1929 she helped found the Ninety-Nines, an organization of female pilots.

    In her book The Fun of It she wrote about her life and her lifelong interest in flying. But everything came to a hold when she disappeared in 1937, while trying to circumnavigate the globe from the equator. She or her airplane were never found.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal