11 Things You Never Knew About Famous Female Aviator Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart is a recognizable household name, due to hervastly mysterious and tragic disappearance during anattempt to fly aroundthe world in July 1937.

But there was so much more to this woman’s lifethan that fatefulday. Amelia was an icon of the time, a powerful figure as one of the few women succeeding in the burgeoning aviation industry. She took no prisoners and didn’t seem to have any fears. Amelia Earhart’s biography is certainly not a boring one at all.

Amelia was born in Kansas, but she moved around quite a lot. She lived everywhere, from Los Angeles, to Boston, to Toronto, to Chicago, and even more places in between. She was driven fromthe very start, always aspiring to be something great and far beyond the expectations that were typical for women of her time. She knew that she and every other woman werecapable of so much more than what society expected.

It seems like spending a day with Amelia Earhart would have been a real hoot. Between all her celebrity friendships and tales from childhood, I bet the conversation would have lasted for hours.

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Thumbnail source: Wikimedia Commons / Wide World Photos

1. She Dropped Out Of School Twice

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Although she was the president of her class at finishing school, she dropped out to volunteer as a nurse for wounded WWI soldiers.

Then, in 1919, she enrolled in Columbia’s medical school, only to drop out the next year to move back to Los Angeles. Neither dropout was for lack of knowledge, just an itch to explore meaningful and enticing options in life.

2. She Was A Rough-And-Tumble Kid

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As a child, Amelia wasn’t afraid to get bruised up and dirty. She collected insects and climbed trees with her sisters.

Once, with the help of her uncle, she built a roller coaster-style ramp off the top of atoolshed and got all banged up on the first run. Through a bruised lip and a torn dress, Amelia exclaimed happily how therough ride was just like flying.

3. She Kept Her Childhood Nickname

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Amelia was the first child ofSamuel “Edwin” Stanton Earhart and Amelia “Amy” Otis. Grace Muriel Earhart was born in 1899 when Amelia was 2years old. Grace called Amelia “Meely” and Grace became “Pidge.” The sisters kept their nicknames all through adulthood.

4. She Learned To Fly From Another Woman

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Amelia took flying lessons from Neta Snook, the first woman to establish her own aviation business. She taught Amelia in 1921 for $1 in bonds per minutein the air.

5. Her First Plane Cost $2,000

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Just six months after starting flying lessons, Amelia purchased a Kinner Airster for $2,000 in 1922. Her mother helped her pay for the aircraft, but her flight instructor thought the plane was too dangerous.

Amelia herself said the engine was so rough that her feet fell asleep when on the pedal for too long. She painted it yellow and called it the Kinner Canary.

6. She Wrote For Cosmopolitan

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In 1926, Amelia was the aviation editor forCosmo and published 16 articles about her adventures in the air. She did her best to encourage other women to explore the burgeoning world of aviation too.

7. She Was The First Woman To Be Awarded A Distinguished Flying Cross

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Not only was she the first woman to receive this military honor, but she was one of very few civilians to receive it. Now only military personnel canreceive the honor.

8. She Inspired Eleanor Roosevelt

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Amelia and Eleanor became friends, and the first lady was so inspired bythe young woman that she signed up to take flying lessons. While she didn’t follow through with the lessons, the two womenflew as passengers often.

9. She Had Her Own Fashion Line

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Amelia was one of the first celebrities to create and endorse her own fashion line. She used it to bolster her aviation career, and had a pretty hefty impact on 1930s fashion.

She often appeared on the pages of huge fashion magazines and was a very fashion-forward woman when she wasn’t in an aviation jumpsuit.

10. America Spent $4 Million Looking For Her

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The U.S. Navy and the Coast Guard both looked for Amelia and her second navigator Fred Noonan extensively, costing the United States a grand total of $4 million, the most spent on a search effort to that date in 1937.

While the efforts were extensive, the technology and methods were rudimentary and most likely ineffective.

11. Some Claim That Her Remains Have Actually Been Found

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Somescientists think that a partial skeleton found by a British doctor in 1941 could be a match for Amelia Earhart. There is no way to truly prove that the bones belong to the female aviator, but the skeleton discovered decades ago on Gardner Island offers a possible puzzle piece to complete the theory that she and Noonan spent some time as castaways on an island before meeting their demise.

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