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Biography of Amelia Earhart

Updated on October 29, 2012

The life of Amelia Earheart, a biography by Susan Butler

Nearly every young adult growing up has learned the name Amelia Earhart and the feats she accomplished in the air, but how many of us know what she accomplished while her feet were firmly planted on the ground? Did you know that she started and considered herself for much of her life as a social worker? Did you know she was one of the strongest advocates for woman's rights and equality of the day? A fiercely independent woman, yet one who never lost patience with anyone. She was a force to be reckoned with the likes of which has rarely been seen since. The biography by Susan Butler provides a fantastic view of this tremendous woman with details of the early air industry as a whole.

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The pioneer and her impact

The tragedy of every hero is that sometimes what they are most known for is not always what they are most proud of. Amelia Earhart is no exception; beginning the true meat of her career as a social worker in tenement houses she forever considered herself as a social worker. Flying to her was originally an adventure but not something that would pay the bills as a future career. She originally became famous by more chance than plan, becoming the first female to cross the Atlantic even though as only a passenger. Yet with a celebrity status new potentials were thrust into her grasp.

She was unlike heroes before her; those that focused exclusively on the very item that made them famous, rather she spread herself to new heights to be a champion for women's rights. She realized early on that the standards for woman were painfully and illogically different then men. Even in the late 1930s professional female pilots were banned from flying a week before, the week during and the week after their period for fear that they would lack the mental faculties during that time period; only reason this policy was never fully implemented was the men were afraid to ask a woman when their period took place. Thus as Amelia liked to say "If and when you knock at the door, it might be well to bring an ax along; you may have to chop your way through."

Yet with all the challenges she faced, and there was no lacking in challenges, she maintained a grace and a calm that brought her into America's hearts. No matter how many times she was mobbed, she took the time to sign every autograph and answer every question. My favorite story was when she was in an air race with one of the top planes at the time, (a gift due to her fame) she carried the luggage of her competitors who had slower and older planes even though it added weight and thus slowed her down (she came in third). This was the person behind the stories; independent and strong willed yet caring for others.

East to the Dawn is beautifully written to bring depth to the stories while also bring in enough color from the time period for even the most casual reader to understand the setting. There is no end to the feats she accomplished in the air and if only interested in that history, this story is worth it; but to learn her full impact on society is a depth that Susan brings and is well worth your time. Don't hesitate given the book's size, it is well worth the time.

What do you think happened to Amelia?

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    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 5 years ago

      I assume she crashed and was killed, but I guess we'll never know. Such a shame. She was really an amazing pioneer of her time.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Yes I do, it is a great tribute... Thanks

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      We might not ever know for sure. I assume she ran out of gas and crashed.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      Like many, I wonder what happened to her, but I just don't speculate about it. However, this a book I would really like to read. Thank you!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      I watching a TV show recently that suggested that she and her flight engineer may have crashed on an island in the Pacific. Items were gathered for DNA but nothing could be proven.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 5 years ago

      I agree with some of the documentaries that say she ran out of gas and crashed.

    Learn more than I can share in this article

    This book was a very easy and informative read that I strongly recommend.

    My favorite quotes

    "Sowing wild oats is putting cracks in the vase of our souls -- which can never be obliterated or sealed -- even by love." - Earhart

    "As a matter of fact, I know a great many boys who should be making pies-- and a great many girls who would be better off in manual training. There is no reason why a woman can't hold any position in aviation providing she can overcome prejudices and show ability." -Earhart

    "Virtue does not consist in abstaining from vice but in not desiring it" - George Bernard Shaw

    "Many divorces are caused by the complete dependence of the female. At first there is the strong sexual attraction that sometimes masquerades as love. Everything goes well until the first financial crisis jars the man's confidence and threatens the woman's security. The woman can't help. All she can be is dependent, because the man, giving him encouragement by contributing her own efforts, she becomes accusatory and sullen and the sex drive that passed for love is no longer enough to satisfy either of them. If we begin to think and respond as capable human beings able to deal with and even enjoy the challenges of life, then we surely will have something more to contribute to marriage than our bodies." - Earhart

    Interesting video biography

    What do you think?

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      • Rosanna Grace profile image

        Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

        I enjoyed reading this article. :)

      • Kumar P S profile image

        Kumar P S 4 years ago

        Great lens ! Thanks for sharing your trip.

      • Michey LM profile image

        Michey LM 5 years ago

        It is a great lens for a great personality...

      • JoyfulReviewer profile image

        JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

        I haven't read this book, but have seen a documentary about her. Nicely done review about an admirable lady!

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        I watched a movie on her and really admired what she has done. Good review. Blessed!

      • Inkhand profile image

        Inkhand 5 years ago

        A fascinating lens.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
        Author

        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @OhMe: Thank you for taking the time. This was a great book and I genuinely think you will enjoy it.

      • OhMe profile image

        Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

        I want to read The life of Amelia Earheart, a biography by Susan Butler and enjoyed your great review.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
        Author

        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @kathysart: Thank you for the blessing and your thoughts. She really was amazing

      • PlethoraReader profile image
        Author

        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @NAIZA LM: Thank you for the compliment and the blessing.

      • kathysart profile image

        kathysart 5 years ago

        How amazing she was. I enjoyed your lens about her and wow.. THUMBS UP and ANGEL BLESSED

      • WriterJanis2 profile image

        WriterJanis2 5 years ago

        I so wish I knew what really happened to her.

      • NAIZA LM profile image

        NAIZA LM 5 years ago

        Terrific biography lens featuring Amelia Earhart! Very educational and resourceful. ~Blessed by a Squid Angel.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
        Author

        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @anonymous: There are some great books on the list, so will hopefully be able to keep sharing what I read with everyone. Thanks for the comment.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
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        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @privresearch: Thank you.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
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        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @PTurner56: I had not known that. Thank you for sharing!

      • PlethoraReader profile image
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        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @JohnMichael2: I found interesting that while she had strong nerves and was quite brave; she was also very careful. Maybe less of a daredevil and more of just very strong willed. When others say can't be done, she was willing to try. Thanks for the comment.

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        Nice lens! I love your bio...your Pulitzer prize quest is cool!

      • privresearch profile image

        privresearch 5 years ago

        Beautiful lens for one special and very brave lady

      • PTurner56 profile image

        PTurner56 5 years ago

        Shirley Temple was asked as a child who she'd most like to meet in the whole world, and it was Amelia Earhart, Shriley's hero. Amelia paid Shirley a visit and the two of them really hit it off. When Amelia disappeared, Shirley was crushed.

        Great lens!

      • JohnMichael2 profile image

        JohnMichael2 5 years ago

        a daredevil and a person ahead of her time

      • PlethoraReader profile image
        Author

        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @KimGiancaterino: Thanks for your thought on Amelia, she really was remarkable. What I found most interesting was how dedicated she was to woman's rights, encouraging women everywhere to push thru the ceilings they find. A remarkable person.

      • KimGiancaterino profile image

        KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

        Amelia Earhart was a trailblazer. I did a report on her when I was 7 and have since been intrigued by the case. There is a park and statue named for her in North Hollywood. I used to live a few blocks from there. The Burbank Airport has also done a wonderful tribute with photographs and other artifacts.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
        Author

        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @canoz: Actually I felt in this book the author did a great job showing what could have been human error (Fred), versus weather, versus potentially mechanical or pilot error. We of course don't know, but it was nice to see a very open minded view and not 'blaming' any one factor.

      • Johanna Eisler profile image

        Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

        I've always been fascinated with the pilot, Amelia Earheart. Now I'm becoming fascinated with the woman, Amelia Earheart. Thank you for the education!

        And congratulations on making the front page!

      • canoz profile image

        Heather Bradford 5 years ago from Canada

        @PlethoraReader: And not to be forgotten, her navigator Fred Noonan.... but I didn't call my son Fred! lol. Does he get the blame for her missing the island?

      • PlethoraReader profile image
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        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @canoz: I am honored you shared this and glad this was helpful for your daughter. Amelia Earhart was an amazing person whose life was tragically cut short.

      • canoz profile image

        Heather Bradford 5 years ago from Canada

        This lens will help my 8yo daughter understand why we named her Amelia Grace. Thank you for a beautiful lens. Concise, well written and yet simple enough to enjoy and share.

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        fullofshoes 5 years ago

        Really great lens!

      • jadehorseshoe profile image

        jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

        Nice lens!

      • PlethoraReader profile image
        Author

        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @toldyaso lm: Thank you

      • toldyaso lm profile image

        toldyaso lm 5 years ago

        So fascinating, so mysterious... Great job!

      • PlethoraReader profile image
        Author

        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @jimmyworldstar: She really was quite fascinating and I agree I love the quote as well. She had a lot of guts! You might also want to check out the article i wrote on Jane Goodall who like Amelia traveled around the world alone as a family and broke all the traditional barriers. Thank you for stopping by and reading.

      • profile image

        jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

        I like her quote about marriage. She was a great pioneer not just for aviation but for women's rights.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
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        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @Wyrdcrow: Glad you liked the article, it was a pleasure to read about her. You might want to also check out my article on Jane Goodall who was just as interesting. jane-goodall-biography

      • profile image

        Wyrdcrow 5 years ago

        One of my heroes! Really enjoyed reading this, thank you.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
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        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @KhairuZiya: Thank you for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the review.

      • KhairuZiya profile image

        KhairuZiya 5 years ago

        Thank you for another essential lens. very informative

      • PlethoraReader profile image
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        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @Will Marcus: Thank you for the compliment and glad you enjoyed the reviews (just added a new one on the candy bombers that you might like). Will check out your writings as well.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
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        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @RetiredRebel: Thank you, appreciate your time checking it out.

      • Will Marcus profile image

        Will Marcus 5 years ago

        What a wonderful and educational Lens! Your facination with reading great books is reflected in your writing. Stop by!

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        RetiredRebel 5 years ago

        great lens :)

      • PlethoraReader profile image
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        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @naugleb: Thank you! Appreciate it.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
        Author

        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @hughgrissettsr lm: Thank you Hugh, appreciate your comment.

      • hughgrissettsr lm profile image

        hughgrissettsr lm 5 years ago

        nice lens! i've always been fascinated by her story.

      • Diana Wenzel profile image

        Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

        I would like to read more about Amelia Earhart. Thank you for teaching me many new interesting facts about her life. I always knew Amelia had to be an extraordinary person. It is nice to know more than just about her disappearance. Appreciated!

      • profile image

        naugleb 5 years ago

        Great story and presentation! I enjoyed your lens.

      • PlethoraReader profile image
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        Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

        @SusanDeppner: Thanks Susan for the comment! Will be posting a new review each week and hope to continue to find some of these interesting stories we might otherwise miss.

      • SusanDeppner profile image

        Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

        Sounds like a good book about an amazing woman. Thanks for the review!