Charles Lindbergh

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Lindbergh, Charles Augustus (1902-1974), American aviator, engineer, and Pulitzer Prize winner, who was the first person to make a nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic. Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born February 4, 1902, in Detroit and was delivered by his great-uncle. When he was three years old, his three-story house burned down and a simpler home was built in its place. From the age of six he had his own gun and soon became an expert marksman. His mother, Evangeline Lindbergh, first enrolled him in school in Washington when he was eight, but he was not a pupil that paid attention. He would attend eleven schools within a ten-year period but would never finish a full academic year in any of them. Charles just never learned to enjoy sitting in a classroom. Charles developed and constructed a system for moving the ice from the icehouse to the icebox when he was nine years old. When he was ten years old, his father arrived from Washington one summer behind the wheel of a Model T Ford, As soon as Charles was tall enough to reach the pedals, he quickly became a better driver than either of of his parents and drove his mother all over the place. He attended the University of Wisconsin for two years but withdrew to attend a flying school in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lindbergh made his first airplane flight on April 9, 1922 and four years later he piloted a mail plane between St. Louis, Missouri, and Chicago. He decided to compete for a prize of $25,000 offered in 1919 by the Franco-American philanthropist Raymond B. Orteig of New York City for the first nonstop transatlantic solo flight between New York City and Paris. In his single-engine monoplane, Spirit of St. Louis, Lindbergh left Roosevelt Field at 7:52 AM on May 20, 1927. After a flight of 33 hours 32 minutes, he landed at Le Bourget Airport near Paris. Twenty thousand men and women were at the airport waiting for hours to see the man who flew across the Atlantic. As soon as Lindbergh stood up in the cockpit, the cheers of 20,000 voices were raised: "Lindbergh! Lindbergh! Lindbergh!" His achievement won the enthusiasm and acclaim of the world, and he was greeted as a hero in Europe and the U.S. He was later commissioned a colonel in the U.S. Air Service Reserve and was a technical adviser to commercial airlines. He made "goodwill tours" of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. Lindbergh flew over Yucatan and Mexico in 1929 and over the Far East in 1931, and in 1933 he made a survey of more than 30,000 miles for transatlantic air routes and landing fields. Lindbergh also collaborated with the French surgeon Alexis Carrel in experiments to develop an artificial heart pump. Despite early promising results the experiments were finally given up without entirely achieving their purpose. The two men were co-authors of The "Culture of Organs" in 1938. On a Tuesday night, March 3, 1932 Charles returned from New York and had dinner with his wife, Anne. She and the nurse, Betty Gow, had earlier put the baby to bed, Charles' first child. Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., his 19-month-old son, slept in a second-floor bedroom. After dinner the three searched the house where the child was nowhere to be found. He then found a ransom note on the window sill demanding $50,000 and where to deliver it. This kidnapping attracted nationwide attention. Lindbergh received another note from the kidnappers, complaining about the publicity and warning that nothing would happen until everything calmed down and they also raised the ransom demand to $70,000. John Codon, a volunteer middle-man for Lindbergh to deal with the kidnappers, exchanged the money at a nearby cemetery with a kidnapper's contact for an envelope telling them where to find the child. The directions were fake and Lindbergh was tricked. Several weeks later Charles got word that the baby's

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