Harriet Quimby

Harriet Quimby
Harriet Quimby 1911.jpg
Quimby circa 1911
Born(1875-05-11)May 11, 1875
Arcadia, Michigan, U.S.
DiedJuly 1, 1912(1912-07-01) (aged 37)
Squantum, Massachusetts, U.S.
OccupationWriter, aviator

Harriet Quimby (May 11, 1875 – July 1, 1912) was an early American aviator and a movie screenwriter. In 1911, she was awarded a U.S. pilot's certificate by the Aero Club of America, becoming the first woman to gain a pilot's license in the United States.[1] In 1912, she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. Although Quimby lived only to the age of 37, she influenced the role of women in aviation.

Early life and early career

She was born on May 11, 1875 in Arcadia Township, Manistee County, Michigan. After her family moved to San Francisco, California, in the early 1900s, she became a journalist. She moved to Manhattan, New York City in 1903 to work as a theater critic for Leslie's Illustrated Weekly and more than 250 of her articles were published over a nine-year period.[2]

Quimby became interested in aviation in 1910, when she attended the Belmont Park International Aviation Tournament in Elmont, New York.[2] There she met John Moisant, a well-known aviator and operator of a flight school, and his sister Matilde.[3][4]

On August 1, 1911, she took her pilot's test and became the first U.S. woman to earn an Aero Club of America aviator's certificate.[2] Matilde Moisant soon followed and became the second.[5]

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