Amelia Earhart Biography

Topics: Amelia Earhart, Howland Island, Fred Noonan Pages: 4 (1539 words) Published: July 25, 2008
Throughout the Jazz Age a significant number of eminent figures emerged, including the American aviation pioneer and women’s rights advocate, Amelia Mary Earhart. Born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart from an early age began to show leadership skills as well as a tendency to cause mischief. Nicknamed “Meeley” by her parents, she would often misbehave with her sister, Grace Muriel, who acted as her “dutiful follower”. Their upbringing was rather unconventional because Amy Earhart, Amelia’s mother, did not believe in molding her children into “nice little girls”. This disregard for the traditionalist gender roles that society had assigned to females throughout this era had a subconscious effect on Earhart. Evidence of this can be seen in her adult years as an aviator, as her attire habitually consisted of “tomboyish” garments and her activities and hobbies were also considered of that nature.

At the young age of ten, Amelia Earhart attended the state fair, where she had the chance to gaze upon her first airplane at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Without a second thought, she dismissed the aircraft and resumed playing. She is attributed with this verbal reaction after seeing the biplane, "It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and looked not at all interesting," mentioned in Mary Lovell’s The Sound of Flight. It wasn’t until Amelia had attended a stunt flying exhibition nearly a decade later in Long Beach that she would seriously become interested in flight. On December 28, 1920, pilot Frank Hawks gave her a ride that would forever change her life.

During Amelia’s childhood, the family’s financial well-being was very unstable, which can be attributed to her father’s alcoholism. After losing his job for that very reason, he received rehabilitation but was never reinstated. Simultaneously, Amelia’s grandmother and caretaker, Amelia Otis, died. The Otis household and all of its contents were auctioned, and Earhart was heartbroken. She...
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