Jackie Cochran By Women Fly
Holder of more aviation records than any person in history.
Jackie Cochran grew up in extreme poverty in the Florida panhandle. But Jackie was a survivor and took an opportunity to apprentice with a beautician to escape the South. With only a second-grade education, Jackie opened her first beauty and cosmetics shop. The Depression was in full swing and she realized she needed an edge on her competition, so In 1932, at the suggestion of her future husband, Floyd Odlum, Jackie took up flying to cover more sales territory. In typical Jackie style, she soloed in three days and never looked back. She continued to grow her business, even developing and manufacturing her own cosmetics line, but it was flying that became her true passion. Jackie went on to set more speed, altitude and distance records than any other pilot, male or female. She founded and directed all phases of the Women Air Force Service Pilots program during World War II. She lobbied relentlessly to establish an Air Force that was separate from the Army. Jackie's numerous awards include 15 Harmon Trophies for most outstanding woman flyer in the world, the William Mitchell Memorial Award in 1938 for greatest contribution to aviation, 4 trophies from the Women s National Aeronautical Association, the Air Force Association Award, the United States Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. She was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in 1971 the first living woman to receive that honor. Jackie kept esteemed company and considered among her friends Amelia Earhart, General Hap Arnold, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Chuck Yeager. Her autobiography reads like a fantasy story of adventure, determination, ambition, and passion at its core. Her death in 1980 marked the loss of the greatest woman pilot in aviation history.
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