• Short Summary

    Charles Lindbergh, the first m an to make a solo flight across the Atlantic, touched the heights of triumph and the depths of tragedy during his 72-year life.

  • Description

    Charles Lindbergh, the first m an to make a solo flight across the Atlantic, touched the heights of triumph and the depths of tragedy during his 72-year life.

    In 1927, flying the aircraft "Spirit of St. Louis" he became the first man to fly the Atlantic. He took off from New York and, by the time he landed in paris, he was an international hero.

    But five years later, his two-year-old son Charles Augustus was kidnapped and murdered in what became the celebrated crime of the Thirties.

    Lindbergh was born in Detroit in 1902, the son of a U.S. Congressman. He cut short a university education to enrol in flying school, after which he led a barnstorming flying circus on tours through the Southern states of America. In the 1920's aircraft were novelties and Lindbergh became a minor cult figure.

    Airmail was na infant service in those times, too, and Lindbergh began flying mail routes from St. Louis to Chicago. It was in St. Louis that he met the group of businessmen who backed him to win a 25,000-dollar prize being offered for the first man to fly solo from New York to Paris.

    Lindbergh did it. The crowds which welcomed him in Paris were estimated in hundreds of thousands and on his return to the United States he was lionised, decorated and adored. In the space of a 33 1/2 flight, Lindbergh had flown into the history books.

    Lindbergh, who married Anne Morrow, the daughter of an American ambassador in 1929, was shy of publicity, but it descended on him in full force in 1932 when his son was kidnapped from his home in Hopewell, New Jersey and later found murdered.

    Throughout the arrest, trial and ultimate execution of the murderer -- a German-born carpenter named Bruno Hauptmann -- Lindbergh and his wife were exposed to almost daily press coverage.

    It became so distasteful to the Lindbergh that they took refuge in England in 1936, after which he remained in Europe. His decoration by Hitler's Nazi German government in 1938 led to criticism at home, as did his neutrality speeches in America just prior to the United States entering World War Two.

    Once the war had overtaken his country, however, Lindbergh went to work as consultant to a number of aircraft companies and flew 50 combat missions during a tour of duty in the Pacific.

    After the war, Lindbergh served as advisor to two airlines and was also a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, but by this time he had slipped form public gaze.

    In 1953, he published a Pulitzer Prize-winning book -- "The Spirit of St. Louis" -- which told the story of his historic flight. And it is for that achievement that Charles Lindbergh will always be remembered.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
    Black & White
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