Just a year after her first flight, Earhart took to the skies in her yellow Canary and flew 14,000 feet up in the air. This flight broke the world altitude record for a female pilot at the time. Because of her record-breaking flights, she was awarded her official pilot’s license by the world governing body for aeronautics in 1923.
She was the 16th woman to ever receive one. Her record-breaking didn’t stop there. She became the first woman to fly across the U.S. nonstop from coast to coast.
A Legend in the Making
Amelia Earhart’s nature was to be that of an independent woman. As a child, she had the courage to do things some children would never even try. She would hunt rats with a rifle and climb tall trees. She even made a scrapbook that only contained newspaper clippings about successful women.
She knew from the first time she got on a plane that she wanted to be a pilot. She flew for the first time in 1921 after initially working as a truck driver so she could pay off her own flying lessons.
With a tale as legendary as Amelia Earhart’s, you really stop and think in amusement when you hear about her peculiar education. In her teens, Amelia lived with her grandparents. However, her mother took a very unconventional method of home-schooling her.
Earhart loved to read and on many occasions she could be found tucked away in a corner of her family’s library, reading a book. In 1909, Amelia and her sister Grace were finally able to go to a regular school. She was 12 years old when she entered seventh grade.
Marrying Mr. Putnam
With her ever-growing popularity as a public figure, Amelia soon needed to hire a publicist. She hired George P. Putnam but their relationship developed from a working one into a romantic one. That doesn’t mean she made it easy for him. He proposed six times before she said yes.
She was set on remaining an independent woman. “You must know again my reluctance to marry, my feeling that I shatter thereby chances in work,” she wrote to him.
Call Me Earhart
Though George and Amelia had tied the knot in 1931, Earhart had reached a resolution to keep being addressed by her maiden name. She wanted to be known for her professional work, not for being George P. Putnam’s wife. After her record-breaking trip across the Atlantic, the New York Times published the headline “Mrs. Putnam flies Atlantic in record time.”
Amelia immediately wrote to the publisher Arthur Hays Salzberger and graciously asked him to refer to her in the paper as Amelia Earhart.