Born February, 1902
Died August 26, 1974
Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii
Charles Augustus Lindbergh (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974),
known as "Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle," was
an American aviator famous for piloting the first non-stop flight alone
from New York to Paris in 1927.
In the years prior
to World War II, Lindbergh was a noted isolationist, and was a leader
in the movement to keep the US out of the coming war. He was a strong
advocate of the movement and the resolution of conflict with Germany.
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of
Swedish immigrants. He spent summers on a farm near Little Falls, Minnesota
but also spent time in Detroit and Washington, DC. His father, Charles
Lindbergh Sr., was a lawyer and later a U.S. Congressman who opposed
the entry of the U.S. into World War I; his mother was a teacher. Lindbergh,
for a short time, attended Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach,
was not a junior since his middle name was not the same as his father's.
From Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg: "But he[Lindbergh] would be her
only child - named for his father, with the addition of a syllable to
the middle name: Charles Augustus Lindbergh."
Early on, he showed
an interest in machinery (first his family's Saxon Six, later his own
Excelsior motorbike and, finally, airplanes). In 1922, he quit the mechanical
engineering program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, joined a
pilot and mechanics training program with Nebraska Aircraft, bought
his own plane, a World War I-surplus Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny,"
and became a barnstormer, the "Daredevil Lindbergh." In
1924, he started training as a pilot with the Army Air Service. During
this time he also held a job as an airline mechanic in Billings, Montana,
working at Logan International Airport.
first in his pilot training class, Lindbergh took his first job as the
chief pilot of an airmail route operated by Robertson Aircraft Co. of
Lambert Field in St. Louis, Missouri. He flew the mail in a de Havilland
DH-4 biplane to Springfield, Peoria and Chicago, Illinois. During his
tenure on the mail route, he was renowned for delivering the mail under
any circumstances. After a crash, he even salvaged stashes of mail from
his burning aircraft and immediately phoned Alexander Varney, Peoria's
airport manager, to advise him to send a truck.
In April 1923, while
visiting friends in Lake Village, Arkansas, Lindbergh made his first
ever nighttime flight over Lake Village and Lake Chicot.
flight New York to Paris
Lindbergh drives through a parade in downtown Atlanta where crowds line
the street on October 11, 1927.The Orteig Prize, a $25,000 prize offered
by New York hotelier, Raymond Orteig a frenchman in 1919 for the first
flight from New York City to Paris spurred a great amount of interest
worldwide. Either an easterly flight from New York or a westbound flight
from Paris would qualify, consequently, the first challengers were French
war heroes, Captain Charles Nungesser and Raymond Coli (his navigator)
who had taken off May 8, 1927 on a westbound flight in the Levasseur
PL 8, nicknamed the L'Oiseau Blanc. The aircraft disappeared after the
last known contact made as the flyers crossed the coast of Ireland.
Other teams including famed WWI "ace" René Fonck, Clarence
Chamberlin (who made the second non-stop flight across the Atlantic
two weeks after Lindbergh, landing in Eisleben, Germany near Berlin)
and Admiral Richard E. Byrd, were also in the race to claim the Orteig
Prize. The race had become more deadly when Noel Davis and Stanton H.
Wooster were killed when the former’s New York to Paris entry
crashed while Charles N. Clavier and Jacob Islaroff were burned to death
at Roosevelt Field when Captain René Fonck’s Sikorsky plane
nosed over in taking off(from weight).
sudden great international fame as the first pilot to fly solo and non-stop
across the Atlantic Ocean, flying from Roosevelt Airfield (Nassau County,
Long Island), New York to Paris on May 20-May 21, 1927 in his single-engine
aircraft The Spirit of St. Louis which had been designed by Donald Hall
and custom built by Ryan Airlines of San Diego, California. He needed
33.5 hours for the trip. (His grandson Erik Lindbergh repeated this
trip 75 years later in 2002 in 17 hours 17 minutes.) The President of
France bestowed on him the French Legion of Honor and, on his arrival
back in the United States, a fleet of warships and aircraft escorted
him to Washington, D.C. where President Calvin Coolidge awarded him
the Distinguished Flying Cross on June 11, 1927.
won him the Orteig Prize; more significant than the prize money was
the acclaim that resulted from his daring flight. A ticker-tape parade
was held for him down 5th Avenue in New York City on June 13, 1927.
His public stature following this flight was such that he became an
important voice on behalf of aviation activities until his death. including
the central committee of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
in the United States. On March 21, 1929, he was presented the Medal
of Honor for his historic trans-Atlantic flight.
of HonorThe massive publicity surrounding him and his flight boosted
the aircraft industry and made a skeptical public take air travel seriously.
Lindbergh is recognized in aviation for demonstrating and charting polar
air-routes, high altitude flying techniques, and increasing aircraft
flying range by decreasing fuel consumption. These innovations are the
basis of modern intercontinental air travel.
was the first to fly solo from New York to Paris non-stop, he was not
the first aviator on a transatlantic heavier-than-air aircraft flight.
That had been done first in stages by the crew of the NC-4, in May 1919,
although their flying boat broke down and had to be repaired before
continuing. The NC-4 flights took 19 days to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
According to a Biography
Channel profile on Lindbergh, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the daughter of
diplomat Dwight Morrow, was the only woman he had ever asked out on
a date. The couple were married on May 27, 1929, and he taught her how
to fly and did much of his exploring and charting of air routes with
her. They had six children: Charles Augustus Lindbergh III (1930-1932),
Jon Lindbergh (b.1932), Land Morrow Lindbergh (b.1937) who studied anthropology
at Stanford University and married Susan Miller in San Diego, Anne Lindbergh
(1940-1993), Scott Lindbergh (b.1942) and Reeve Lindbergh (b.1945),
Lindbergh III, 20 months old, was abducted on March 1, 1932, from the
Lindbergh home. After a nationwide 10-week search and ransom negotiations
with the kidnappers, an infant corpse, identified by Lindbergh as his
son, was found on May 12 in Jefferson, New Jersey, just a few miles
from the Lindberghs' home. More than three years later, a media circus
ensued when the man accused of the murder, Bruno Hauptmann, went on
trial in British Columbia. Tired of being in the spotlight and still
mourning the loss of their son, the Lindberghs moved to Europe in December
1935. Hauptmann, who maintained his innocence until the end, was found
guilty and was executed on April 3, 1936.
In Europe, during the pre-war period, Lindbergh traveled to Germany
several times at the behest of the U.S. military, where he reported
on German aviation and the Luftwaffe (air force). Lindbergh was intrigued,
and stated that Germany had taken a leading role in a number of aviation
developments, including metal construction, low-wing designs, dirigibles,
and Diesel engines. Lindbergh also undertook a survey of aviation in
the Soviet Union in 1938 and reported to the United States military
upon his return from each of these trips.
The Lindberghs lived
in England and Brittany, France during the late 1930s in order to find
tranquility and avoid the celebrity that followed them everywhere in
the United States after the kidnapping trial.
While living in
France, Lindbergh worked with Nobel Prize-winning French surgeon Dr.
Alexis Carrel, with whom he had collaborated on earlier projects when
the latter lived in the United States. In 1930, Lindbergh's sister-in-law
developed a fatal heart condition. Lindbergh began to wonder why no
one could repair hearts with surgery. He discovered it was because organs
could not be kept alive outside the body, and set about working on a
solution to the problem with Carrel. Lindbergh's invention, a glass
perfusion pump, was credited with making future heart surgeries possible.
The device in this early stage was far from perfected, however. Although
perfused organs were said to have survived surprisingly well, all showed
progressive degenerative changes in a few days. Carrel also introduced
Lindbergh to eugenics and scientific racism, which would be one of the
main factors in shaping the controversial views on foreign policy he
would later divide his native country and eventually ruin his public
reputation by advocating.
In 1929, Lindbergh
became interested in the work of U.S. rocket pioneer Robert Goddard.
The following year, Lindbergh helped Goddard secure his first endowment
from Daniel Guggenheim, which allowed Goddard to expand his independent
research and development. Lindbergh remained a key supporter and advocate
of Goddard's work throughout his life.
EagleIn 1938, Lindbergh and Carrel collaborated on a book, The Culture
of Organs, which summarized their work on perfusion of organs outside
the body. Lindbergh and Carrel discussed an artificial heart but
it would be decades before one was actually built.
Since 2002, the
annual Lindbergh-Carrel Prize is awarded at a Charles Lindbergh Symposium
for an outstanding contribution to development of perfusion and bioreactor
technologies for organ preservation and growth.
But his involvement
with German aviation brought Lindbergh back into the American limelight
once again. In 1938, the American ambassador to Germany, Hugh Wilson,
invited Lindbergh to a dinner with Hermann Göring at the American
embassy in Berlin. The dinner included diplomats and three of the greatest
minds of German aviation, Ernst Heinkel, Adolf Baeumaker and Dr. Willy
Messerschmitt. Göring presented Lindbergh with the Service Cross
of the German Eagle (the Großkreuz des Deutschen Adlers) for his
services to aviation and particularly for his 1927 flight (Henry Ford
received the same award earlier in July). Lindbergh's acceptance of
the honour later caused an outcry in the United States.
to return the medal to the Germans because he claimed that to do so
would be "an unnecessary insult" to the German Nazi government.
He returned to the United States soon after World War II broke out in
Lindbergh and the
Lindbergh went to Germany at the urgent request of the US Military Attaché
in Berlin, who was charged with learning everything possible about Germany's
new warplanes. Thus Lindbergh traveled repeatedly to Germany, touring
German aviation facilities, where the Luftwaffe Chief tried to convince
Lindbergh that the Luftwaffe was far more powerful than it actually
was. Lindbergh used his prestige to gain far more knowledge of German
warplanes than any American. As historian Wayne Cole explains:
importance were the Junkers Ju 88 and, again, the Messerschmitt Bf 109.
With the approval of Goering and Ernst Udet, Lindbergh was the first
American permitted to examine the Luftwaffe's newest and best bomber,
the Ju 88. And he got the unprecedented opportunity to pilot its finest
fighter, the Bf 109. He was highly impressed by both aircraft and knew
"of no other pursuit plane which combines simplicity of construction
with such excellent performance characteristics" as the Bf 109.
In his visits to Germany from 1936 through 1938, Colonel Lindbergh closely
inspected all the types of military aircraft that Germany was to use
against Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and
England in 1939 and 1940. The Bf 109 and Ju 88 were front-line German
combat planes throughout World War II. And Lindbergh's findings about
those various planes found their way into American air intelligence
reports to Washington long before the European war began."
At the urging of
U.S. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, Lindbergh wrote a secret memo for the
British arguing that if England and France attempted to stop Hitler's
aggression, it would be military suicide. Some military historians argue
that Lindbergh was basically accurate and that his warnings helped save
Britain from likely defeat in 1938. Others say that his actions were
beneficial to the Third Reich's war effort. In fact, it is said that
Goering intentionally used Lindbergh to keep the French and British
at bay while maneuvering in Eastern Europe. There is
a case for both of these arguments, as Lindbergh favored a war between
Germany and Russia, but deplored the war between Germany and Britain.
In Charles A. Lindbergh and the Battle against American Intervention
in World War II, Cole explains how Lindbergh was dismayed that pacifism
in France had already left that country without a sufficient military
and possibly already doomed by 1938, and that Britain had an outdated
military still focused on naval power instead of an updated air arsenal
to deter the Luftwaffe and force Hitler to turn his ambitions eastward
toward a war against "Asiatic Communism." There is some controversy
as to how accurate his alarmism concerning the Luftwaffe was, but Cole
reports that the general consensus among British and American officials
was that it was slightly exaggerated but nevertheless badly needed.
Lindbergh and Nazi
1941 cartoon by Dr. Seuss.Because of his numerous scientific expeditions
to Nazi Germany, combined with a belief in eugenics, Lindbergh was tarred
as a Nazi sympathizer. FDR considered him a Nazi and banned him from
joining the military. Lindbergh's subsequent combat missions as a civilian
consultant restored his reputation after the public found out about
them, but only to an extent. However, his much acclaimed and Pulitzer
Prize winning biographer A. Scott Berg contends that Lindbergh was not
so much a supporter of the Nazi regime as someone so stubborn in his
convictions and relatively inexperienced in political maneuvering that
he easily allowed rivals to portray him as one, and that in his support
for the America First Committee he was merely giving voice to the sentiments
of some American people. In 1938, the war had not yet begun in Europe,
and the German medal was approved without objection by the American
embassy. It did not cause controversy until the war began and he returned
to the United States in 1939 to spread his message of non-intervention.
His anti-Communism resonated deeply with many Americans, and many of
his views were common before World War II (Eugenics and Nordicism enjoyed
much social acceptance in the pre-war era.  and other notable enthusiasts
of such ideas included Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill
and George S. Patton).
Outbreak of war
As World War II began in Europe, Lindbergh became a prominent speaker
in favor of non-intervention, going so far as to recommend that the
United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Germany during his January
23, 1941 testimony before Congress. He joined the antiwar America First
Committee and soon became its most prominent public spokesman, speaking
to overflow crowds in Madison Square Garden in New York City and Soldier
Field in Chicago.
In a speech at
an America First rally on September 11, 1941 in Des Moines, Iowa entitled
"Who Are the War Agitators?" Lindbergh claimed that three
groups had been "pressing this country toward war: the Roosevelt
Administration, the British and the Jews" and complained about
what he insisted was the Jews' "large ownership and influence in
our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government."
Although he made clear his opposition to German anti-Semitism, stating
that "All good men of conscience must condemn the treatment of
the Jews in Germany," other comments seemed to suggest that he
believed that Jews should expect trouble for supporting the war: "Instead
of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing
it in every possible way for they will be among the first to feel its
consequences. Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength.
History shows that it cannot survive war and devastation."
There was widespread
negative reaction to the speech, and Lindbergh was forced to defend
and clarify his comments by noting again that he was not anti-Semitic,
but he did not back away from his statement. Lindbergh resigned his
commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps when President Roosevelt openly
questioned his loyalty (which did severe damage to his reputation at
the time). After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Lindbergh attempted
to return to the Army Air Corps, but was denied when several of Roosevelt's
cabinet secretaries registered objections.
World War II
Charles Lindbergh went on to assist with the war effort by serving as
a civilian consultant to aviation companies, beginning with Ford in
1942, working at the Willow Run B-24 production line. Later in 1943,
he joined United Aircraft as an engineering consultant, devoting most
of his time to its Chance-Vought Division. As a technical advisor with
Ford, he was deeply involved in trouble-shooting early problems encountered
in B-24 production. As B-24 production smoothed out, he devoted more
time to Chance-Vought. The following year, he persuaded United Aircraft
to designate him a technical representative in the Pacific War to study
aircraft performances under combat conditions. He showed Marine F4U
pilots how to take off with twice the bomb load that the aircraft was
rated for and on May 21, 1944 he flew his first combat mission. It was
with VMF-222 on a strafing run near the Japanese garrison of Rabaul.
In his six months
in the Pacific in 1944, Lindbergh took part in fighter bomber raids
on Japanese positions, flying about 50 combat missions (again as a civilian).
His innovations in the use of P-38s impressed a supportive Gen. Douglas
MacArthur. Despite the long range exhibited by the P-38 Lightning
leading to missions such as the one that killed Admiral Yamamoto, Lindbergh's
contributions included engine-leaning techniques that he introduced
to P-38 Lightning pilots. These techniques greatly improved fuel usage
while cruising, enabling the aircraft to fly even longer-range missions.
On July 28, 1944 during a P-38 bomber escort mission with the 475th
Fighter Group, Fifth Air Force, in the Ceram area, Lindbergh is credited
with shooting down a Sonia observation plane piloted by Captain Saburo
Shimada, Commanding Officer of the 73rd Independent Chutai.
The US Marine and Army Air Force pilots who served with Lindbergh admired
and respected him, praising his courage and defending his patriotism
regardless of his politics.
The Spirit of St. Louis on display at the National Air and Space Museum
in Washington, D.C.After World War II he lived quietly in Connecticut
as a consultant both to the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force and
to Pan American World Airways. Much of Europe having fallen under Communist
control, Lindbergh believed most of his pre-war assessments had been
correct all along. But Berg reports that after witnessing the defeat
of Germany and the horrors of the Holocaust firsthand shortly after
his service in the Pacific, "he knew the American public no longer
gave a hoot about his opinions." His 1953 book The Spirit of St.
Louis, recounting his non-stop transatlantic flight, won the Pulitzer
Prize in 1954. Dwight D. Eisenhower restored Lindbergh's assignment
with the Army Air Corps and made him a Brigadier General in 1954. In
that year, he served on the congressional advisory panel set up to establish
the site of the United States Air Force Academy. In December 1968, he
visited the crew of Apollo 8 on the eve of the first manned spaceflight
to leave earth orbit.
From 1957 until
his death in 1974, Lindbergh had an affair with a woman 24 years his
junior, German hat maker Brigitte Hesshaimer who lived in a small Bavarian
town called Geretsried (35 km south of Munich). On November 23, 2003,
DNA tests proved that he fathered her three children: Dyrk (1958), Astrid
(1960), and David (1967). The two managed to keep the affair secret;
even the children did not know the true identity of their father, whom
they saw when he came to visit once or twice per year using the alias
name "Careu Kent". Astrid later read a magazine article about
Lindbergh and found snapshots and more than a hundred letters written
from him to her mother. She disclosed the affair after both Brigitte
and Anne Morrow Lindbergh had died.
It is speculated
that Lindbergh may also have fathered two children by Brigitte’s
sister Marietta (Vago, 1962; and Christoph, 1966), and two more children
with his private secretary Valeska (a son in 1959 and a daughter in
From the 1960s on,
Lindbergh became an advocate for the conservation of the natural world,
campaigning to protect endangered species like humpback and blue whales,
was instrumental in establishing protections for the "primitive"
Filipino group the Tasaday and African tribes, and supporting the establishment
of a national park. While studying the native flora and fauna of the
Philippines, he also became involved in an effort to protect the Philippine
eagle. In his final years, Lindbergh became troubled that the world
was out of balance with its natural environment; he stressed the need
to regain that balance, and spoke against the introduction of supersonic
and writings later in life emphasized his love of both technology and
nature, and a lifelong belief that "all the achievements of mankind
have value only to the extent that they preserve and improve the quality
of life." In a 1967 Life magazine article, he said, "The human
future depends on our ability to combine the knowledge of science with
the wisdom of wildness."
In honor of Charles
and his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh's vision of achieving balance between
the technological advancements they helped pioneer, and the preservation
of the human and natural environments, every year since 1978 the Lindbergh
Award has been given by the Lindbergh Foundation to recipients whose
work has made a significant contribution toward the concept of "balance".
His final book,
Autobiography of Values, was published posthumously.
The life of an aviator
seemed to me ideal. It involved skill. It brought adventure. It made
use of the latest developments of science. Mechanical engineers were
fettered to factories and drafting boards while pilots have the freedom
of wind with the expanse of sky. There were times in an aeroplane when
it seemed I had escaped mortality to look down on earth like a God.
– Charles A. Lindbergh, 1927
Augustus (1902-1974), an American aviator, made the first solo nonstop
flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20-21, 1927. Other pilots had
crossed the Atlantic before him. But Lindbergh was the first person
to do it alone nonstop.
gained him immediate, international fame. The press named him "Lucky
Lindy" and the "Lone Eagle." Americans and Europeans
idolized the shy, slim young man and showered him with honors.
Before Japan attacked
Pearl Harbor in 1941, Lindbergh campaigned against voluntary American
involvement in World War II. Many Americans criticized him for his noninvolvement
beliefs. After the war, he avoided publicity until the late 1960's,
when he spoke out for the conservation of natural resources. Lindbergh
served as an adviser in the aviation industry from the days of wood
and wire airplanes to supersonic jets.
Born on Feb. 4,
1902, in Detroit
Lindbergh was born on Feb. 4, 1902, in Detroit. He grew up on a farm
near Little Falls, Minn. He was the son of Charles Augustus Lindbergh,
Sr., a lawyer, and his wife, Evangeline Lodge Land. Lindbergh's father
served as a U.S. congressman from Minnesota from 1907 to 1917.
In childhood, Lindbergh
showed exceptional mechanical ability. At the age of 18 years, he entered
the University of Wisconsin to study engineering. However, Lindbergh
was more interested in the exciting, young field of aviation than he
was in school. After two years, he left school to become a barnstormer,
a pilot who performed daredevil stunts at fairs.
Enlisted in the
United States Army
In 1924, Lindbergh
enlisted in the United States Army so that he could be trained as an
Army Air Service Reserve pilot. In 1925, he graduated from the Army's
flight-training school at Brooks and Kelly fields, near San Antonio,
as the best pilot in his class. After Lindbergh completed his Army training,
the Robertson Aircraft Corporation of St. Louis hired him to fly the
mail between St. Louis and Chicago. He gained a reputation as a cautious
and capable pilot.
In 1919, a New York
City hotel owner named Raymond Orteig offered $25,000 to the first aviator
to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. Several pilots were killed or
injured while competing for the Orteig prize. By 1927, it had still
not been won. Lindbergh believed he could win it if he had the right
airplane. He persuaded nine St. Louis businessmen to help him finance
the cost of a plane. Lindbergh chose Ryan Aeronautical Company of San
Diego to manufacture a special plane, which he helped design. He named
the plane the Spirit of St. Louis. On May 10-11, 1927, Lindbergh tested
the plane by flying from San Diego to New York City, with an overnight
stop in St. Louis. The flight took 20 hours 21 minutes, a transcontinental
May 20, 1927
On May 20, Lindbergh
took off in the Spirit of St. Louis from Roosevelt Field, near New York
City, at 7:52 A.M. He landed at Le Bourget Field, near Paris, on May
21 at 10:21 P.M. Paris time (5:21 P.M. New York time). Thousands of
cheering people had gathered to meet him. He had flown more than 3,600
miles (5,790 kilometers) in 33 1/2 hours.
flight thrilled people throughout the world. He was honored with awards,
celebrations, and parades. President Calvin Coolidge gave Lindbergh
the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Lindbergh and the
Spirit of St. Louis visited Fargo, ND on Friday, August 26, 1927. Murray
Baldwin (President of the Fargo Aeronautic Club), Lindbergh, Fargo Mayor
After the flight
In 1927, Lindbergh
published We, a book about his transatlantic flight. The title referred
to Lindbergh and his plane. Lindbergh flew throughout the United States
to encourage air-mindedness on behalf of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund
for the Promotion of Aeronautics. Lindbergh learned about the pioneer
rocket research of Robert H. Goddard, a Clark University physics professor.
Lindbergh persuaded the Guggenheim family to support Goddard's experiments,
which later led to the development of missiles, satellites, and space
travel. Lindbergh also worked for several airlines as a technical adviser.
Before Charles Lindbergh
left for Paris, Harry Guggenheim, a North Shore multimillionaire and
aviation enthusiast, visited him at Curtiss Field. "When you get
back from your flight, look me up," said Guggenheim, who later
admitted he didn't think there was much chance Lindbergh would survive
and did call upon his return. It was the beginning of a friendship that
would have a profound impact on the development of aviation in the United
States. The two decided Lindbergh would make a three-month tour of the
United States, paid for by a fund Harry and his father, Daniel, had
set up earlier to encourage aviation-related research.
Fund sponsored Lindbergh on a three month nation-wide tour. Flying the
"Spirit of St. Louis," he touched down in 49 states, visited
92 cities, gave 147 speeches, and rode 1,290 miles in parades.
was seen by literally millions of people as he flew around the country,"
said Richard P. Hallion, historian for the Air Force and the author
of a book on the Guggenheims. "Airmail usage exploded overnight
as a result," and the public began to view airplanes as a viable
means of travel.
In addition, Lindbergh
spent a month at Guggenheim's Sands Point mansion, Falaise, while writing
"We," his best-selling 1927 account of his trip.
John Luther "Jack"
Maddux, head of Maddux Airlines based in Los Angeles is on the left;
Helene and Jack Jr. are on the right of Lindbergh. Image owned by email@example.com
At the request of the U.S. government, Lindbergh flew to various Latin-American
countries in December 1927 as a symbol of American good will. While
in Mexico, he met Anne Spencer Morrow, the daughter of Dwight W. Morrow,
the American ambassador there. Lindbergh married Anne Morrow in 1929.
He taught her to fly, and they went on many flying expeditions together
throughout the world, charting new routes for various airlines. Anne
Morrow Lindbergh also became famous for her poetry and other writings.
an artificial heart
an "artificial heart" between 1931 and 1935. He developed
it for Alexis Carrel, a French surgeon and biologist whose research
included experiments in keeping organs alive outside the body. Lindbergh's
device could pump the substances necessary for life throughout the tissues
of an organ.
On March 1, 1932,
the Lindberghs' 20-month-old son, Charles Augustus, Jr., was kidnapped
from the family home in New Jersey. About ten weeks later, his body
was found. In 1934, police arrested a carpenter, Bruno Richard Hauptmann,
and charged him with the murder. Hauptmann was convicted of the crime.
He was executed in 1936.
The press sensationalized
the tragedy. Reporters, photographers, and curious onlookers pestered
the Lindberghs constantly. In 1935, after the Hauptmann trial, Lindbergh,
his wife, and their 3-year-old son, Jon, moved to Europe in search of
privacy and safety.
The Lindbergh kidnapping
led Congress to pass the "Lindbergh law." This law makes kidnapping
a federal offense if the victim is taken across state lines or if the
mail service is used for ransom demands.
German medal of
While in Europe,
Lindbergh was invited by the governments of France and Germany to tour
the aircraft industries of their countries. Lindbergh was especially
impressed with the highly advanced aircraft industry of Nazi Germany.
In 1938, Hermann Goering, a high Nazi official, presented Lindbergh
with a German medal of honor. Lindbergh's acceptance of the medal caused
an outcry in the United States among critics of Nazism.
American entry into World War II
Lindbergh and his
family returned to the United States in 1939. In 1941, he joined the
America First Committee, an organization that opposed voluntary American
entry into World War II. Lindbergh became a leading spokesman for the
committee. He criticized President Franklin D. Roosevelt's foreign policies.
He also charged that British, Jewish, and pro-Roosevelt groups were
leading America into war. Lindbergh resigned his commission in the Army
Air Corps after Roosevelt publicly denounced him. Some Americans accused
Lindbergh of being a Nazi sympathizer because he refused to return the
medal he had accepted.
After the Japanese
attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Lindbergh stopped his noninvolvement
activity. He tried to reenlist, but his request was refused. He then
served as a technical adviser and test pilot for the Ford Motor Company
and United Aircraft Corporation (now United Technologies Corporation).
50 combat missions
In April 1944, Lindbergh
went to the Pacific war area as an adviser to the United States Army
and Navy. Although he was a civilian, he flew about 50 combat missions.
Lindbergh also developed cruise control techniques that increased the
capabilities of American fighter planes.
Withdrew from public
After the War, Lindbergh
withdrew from public attention. He worked as a consultant to the chief
of staff of the U.S. Air Force. President Dwight D. Eisenhower restored
Lindbergh's commission and appointed him a brigadier general in the
Air Force in 1954. Pan American World Airways also hired Lindbergh as
a consultant. He advised the airline on its purchase of jet transports
and eventually helped design the Boeing 747 jet. In 1953, Lindbergh
published The Spirit of St. Louis, an expanded account of his 1927 transatlantic
flight. The book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1954.
widely and developed an interest in the cultures of peoples in Africa
and the Philippines. In the late 1960's, he ended his years of silence
to speak out for the conservation movement. He especially campaigned
for the protection of humpback and blue whales, two species of whales
in danger of extinction. Lindbergh opposed the development of supersonic
transport planes because he feared the effects the planes might have
on the earth's atmosphere.
Died of cancer on
Aug. 26, 1974
Lindbergh died of
cancer on Aug. 26, 1974, in his home on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
After his death, he was buried on the beautiful grounds of the Palapala
Ho'omau Church. The Autobiography of Values, a collection of Lindbergh's
writings, was published in 1978.
lived his last days on the lush Hana coast. Today he lies at rest on
the serene grounds of the Palapala Ho'omau Church in beautiful Kipahulu.
The limestone coral church was built in 1857. Lindbergh's grave is under
the shade of a Java plum tree. Before he died, he sketched a simple
design for his grave and coffin.
reads: Charles A. Lindbergh Born: Michigan, 1902. Died: Maui, 1974.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts
of the sea. -- CAL