Amelia Earhart

By Emily Gerber

A Brief Biography of Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas, on July 24, 1897. Her father was an alcoholic who could not keep a good job, which caused her parents to split up frequently. This led to Earhart and her sister spending a lot of time at her grandparents, where the girls learned to love adventure. Over the course of her life, Amelia lived all over the U.S. and worked many jobs, including as a social worker in Boston, as a sales representative at Kinner Airplanes, and as a pilot. Her first plane was a used Kinner Airster biplane that she called "The Canary" because it was a vibrant yellow.
During her aviation career, Earhart became the first woman to pilot a plane across the Atlantic Ocean and the first person of either gender to fly over both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Earhart also won the Distinguished Flying Cross for her solo flight across the Atlantic (the first time that Congress had ever presented that award to a woman) and the Cross of the Knight of the Legion of Honor on behalf of the French government for the same flight. She became the owner of seven speed/distance women's piloting records in the span of just five years. These were just a few of Earhart's many accomplishments.
Earhart is widely known for her disappearance over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to circumnavigate the Earth at its equator. She and her navigator,Fred Noonan, had already traveled 22,000 miles and had just 7,000 left to go when they lost contact with a U.S Coast Guard ship called the Itsaca. There is much speculation about what happened to Earhart and Noonan, but the most likely possibilities are that their plane ran out of fuel and crashed on its way to Howland Island (their refueling point), or that they landed on Gardner Island and died there. Recently, pieces of clothing, a shard of Plexiglass the identical curvature and width of the plane she was flying, and other items have been found on Gardner Island. Whatever happened, Earhart is remembered as an American hero and advocate of women's rights and strengths.
Amelia Earhart - Mini Biography

Video Questions

1. How did Earhart feel about her first flight across the Atlantic as a passenger?

2. Whom did Earhart marry and when?

3. What was one of the problems Earhart faced during her flight to Howland Island?

Earhart's Legacy

Amelia Earhart left her mark on the world through the boundaries she pushed, the records she set in aviation, the awards she won and the mysterious way she disappeared. But she greatly affected the 1920s in the huge steps she took for women's equality. Earhart showed through her fearlessness, poise and achievements that women can do anything men can do. She even designed her own fashion line to allow women to look feminine and be able to get things done at the same time. Earhart's achievements gave American something to be excited about and to look forward to, giving the 1920s a hopeful and modern vibe.