Flying was a passion for Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. (1902-1974) from the minute he first glimpsed a plane in 1912. His first non-stop solo flight from New York to Paris across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927 made him an international hero and sparked the quest for flight.
"I owned the world that hour as I rode over it... free of the earth, free of the mountains, free of the clouds, but how inseparable I was bound to them," he recounted.
"Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved."
"Lucky Lindy" married writer Anne Spencer Morrow in 1929 and became pioneer explorers, charting airplane routes throughout the world. The couple lived through the 1932 "crime of the century"--the kidnap and murder of their infant son.
Lindbergh said, "In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia."
Following the terrible media circus, the Lindberghs retreated to Europe. The attention of the case led to the strengthening of laws against kidnapping, making it a federal crime.
Charles Lindbergh was born on this day in Detroit, Michigan. The story of his triumphant flight in The Spirit of St. Louis won him the 1954 Pulitzer Prize. "What freedom lies in flying, what God-like power it gives to men," he said of his greatest passion.
Success is the courage to face overwhelming odds.