Charles Lindbergh Report

final copy: June 10, 1999

I wrote this report when I was in 5th grade. Please read and enjoy it.
If you are using it for a college paper, you shouldn't be in college.
Get thee to a library.

Other Web Sources:

Link to the official Biography page from Lindbergh Foundation .
Link to the Timeline from the CharlesLindberg.com

Charles Lindbergh is considered a hero, but first and foremost he was an Explorer and Adventurer. His most famous attempt was flying across the Atlantic, but few know his entire story. He also helped invent and enhance machinery, and had his share of tragedies. Charles Lindbergh was a man who needed to try new things and test his limits.

On February 4, 1902, Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born in his grandfather’s house in Detroit, Michigan to Charles Augustus Sr., and Evangeline Land Lodge. Charles Sr. was elected to congress in 1906. Charles grew up on a farm near Little Falls, Minnesota where he formed a special interest in machinery. He understood every part of his motorcycle and car as he grew older. At age 18, he was accepted into the University of Wisconsin to study engineering. After 2 years of college, Charles dropped out and decided to be a pilot. His first piloting job was as a barnstormer; pilots who do dare-devil tricks at fairs.

In 1924, he became a flying cadet in the United States Air Reserve, training at Brooks and Kelly fields near San Antonio, Texas. He graduated with a pursuit pilot’s rating and a rank of second lieutenant. The Robertson Aircraft Corporation of St. Louis hired him as a test pilot, flying mail from St. Louis to Chicago.

In 1919, after Charles had flown for over 1,500 hours, he decided to pursue a $25,000 dollar prize from a New York hotel owner named Raymond B. Orteig. The prize would be won by the person who could fly non-stop from New York to Paris . By the year 1927, no one had won the prize. Charles convinced nine businessmen that, with their funding, he could fly across the Atlantic. The Ryan Aeronautical Company of San Diego would be the one to build the plane. Lindbergh helped build the plane, which when finished, he named The Spirit of St. Louis. To test his new plane, he flew it from San Diego to New York, with a stop in St. Louis. The flight took him 20 hours and 21 minutes, a new record for the fastest transcontinental flight.

On May 20, 1927, Charles took off from Roosevelt Field in New York City at 7:52 AM. Due to all the fuel that the plane carried, it bobbed up and down on the runway before finally taking off. Just before nightfall, Charles was above St. Johns, Newfoundland. 33½ hours after taking off, At 10 PM, he landed at the Le Bourget Field, near Paris. At the age of 25, he had performed the greatest piloting feat in the history of aviation. Crowds of people cheered as the Spirit of St. Louis landed. He was decorated with countless awards, received parades, and also received both a Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Flying Cross from President Calvin Coolidge. In 1927, Charles published a book entitled We, referring to Lindbergh and his plane and his transatlantic flight. He flew throughout the US to promote the Daniel Guggenheim Fund, an organization that donated money to Aeronautics. He donated the Spirit of Saint Louis to the Smithsonian after making goodwill flights over many countries including Mexico, Central America, and Cuba.

Lindbergh became an airline advisor and, in 1929, married Anne Marrow, the daughter of the US ambassador to Mexico. He met her in Mexico during his goodwill ambassadorship. Anne acted as Charles co-pilot on later expeditions. Anne was also known for her writings and poetry. In 1931, they explored a northern air route from NY to China. And in 1937, they surveyed an air route from England to India. They shared a love of adventure and discovery.

Flying was not the only accomplishment of Charles Lindbergh. He also contributed some major inventions to science. He developed the artificial heart and lung, with the help of Dr. Alexis Carrel. In 1929, he did flyby photographs of Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula. He was always looking for new discoveries and better ways of doing things.

The Lindberghs dedication to the love of discovery and invention brought them great fame and wealth. However all of this fortune did not come without tragedy for the Lindberghs. Their first child, Charles Augustus III, born in 1930, was kidnapped when he was twenty months of age in 1932. After ten weeks of countless ransom and witness payoffs, he was found dead in the woods. In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was tried and convicted of kidnapping and murder and sentenced to death. He was executed in 1935 after a series of delays, in the electric chair. 

In 1935, the Lindberghs moved to England, to escape the taunts and hassling of the press, people, and paparazzi due to the execution of Hauptmann and their son’s kidnapping and murder. It was at this time when Nazi /Germany was beginning it’s quest of domination over it’s neighboring countries.

While in Europe, Lindbergh toured Nazi Lufwaffe plants and training facilities, saying that they were superior to all others. He also accepted a German Medal of Honor. This outraged the people in England and America. When the US began to think of entering the war, Lindbergh publicly opposed it. He said there was no need for America to get involved. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, he swiftly asked to rejoin the Air Reserve. But due to his reputation of “Nazi loving,” President Roosevelt wouldn’t allow it. Instead, Lindbergh served as a civilian employee in the pacific war zone. He still ended up flying 50 combat missions and even shooting down an enemy aircraft. In 1954, he was named a Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve because of his longtime service to government agencies.

After the war, Charles Lindbergh became devoted to conservation. Charles threw his fame and money into trying to help save animals like the humpback whale and blue whale 25 years before the rest of the world would realize the need for these animals. Charles Lindbergh won a Pulitzer prize in 1954 for his autobiographical book The Spirit of St. Louis. He also published The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh in 1970. Charles Augustus Lindbergh died of cancer his home in Maui, Hawaii on August 26, 1974, at the age of 72.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh went on to write numerous books such as “North of the Orient”, ”Bring me a Unicorn”, ”Hour of Gold”, and many others.

In conclusion, Lindbergh led an adventurous life of highs and lows. He became a hero of the people, and then lost his son. He was marked as a “Nazi lover” and then honored as an American General. Having gone through so much tragedy, and attempting so many heroic and innovative feats before anyone else could imagine, Lindbergh can truly be seen as an explorer of the human spirit and a hero for the 20th century. Lindbergh was a man who was “the first of firsts”.

Copyright, 1999, All rights reserved


First Upload: June 1999
Last Update: June 3, 2004 / August 14, 2005