Anne Morrow Lindbergh

From Academic Kids

Anne Morrow Lindbergh (June 22, 1906February 7, 2001) was an author and pioneering American aviator.

Anne Spencer Morrow was born in Englewood, New Jersey, to Dwight Whitney Morrow and Elizabeth Cutter Morrow. She was the second born of the Morrows' four children; the first, Elisabeth Reeve, was born in 1904, followed two years later by Anne. Dwight, Jr. was born in 1908, and Constance in 1913.

Anne was raised in a household that fostered achievement. Her mother would drop everything at five o'clock in the evening so that she could read to her children, and when they outgrew that practice, the young Morrows would use that hour to read by themselves, or write poetry and diaries. Anne in particular would later capitalize on that routine learned in her youth, and see many of her diares published to critical acclaim.

Her father was consecutively a lawyer; a partner at J.P. Morgan Bank; United States Ambassador to Mexico; and Senator from New Jersey. Elizabeth Cutter Morrow was active in the advancement of women's education, serving on the board of trustees and briefly as Acting President of her Alma mater Smith College.

After graduating from Miss Chapin's School in New York City in 1924, Anne began attending Smith College, from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in May 1928, receivng the Elizabeth Montagu Prize for her essay on women of the eighteenth century and Madame d'Houdetot, and the Mary Augusta Jordan Literary Prize for her fictional piece entitled "Lida Was Beautiful".

It was Dwight Morrow's position as Charles Lindbergh's financial adviser at J.P. Morgan Bank that would prompt the aviator's invitation to Mexico, shortly before Morrow resigned to become Ambassador, as a means of promoting good relations between that country and the United States. It was in Mexico that Anne and Charles first met.

Anne Morrow and Charles Lindbergh were married at the home of her parents in Englewood, New Jersey on May 27, 1929. That year, she piloted her first solo flight, and was the first American woman ever to earn a glider pilot's license, in 1930. Together, Anne and Charles explored and charted air routes between continents during the 1930s. The Lindberghs were the first to fly from Africa to South America, and explored polar air routes from North America to Asia and Europe.

The Lindberghs' first born, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., was kidnapped from their new home outside Hopewell, New Jersey on March 1, 1932; after a massive investigation, his dead body was discovered the following May 12, some four miles from the Lindberghs' home, at the summit of a hill on the Hopewell-Mt. Rose Highway.

The frenzied level of press attention paid to the Lindberghs, particularly after the kidnapping and subsequent trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann (the conclusion of which was his conviction and eventual execution), prompted Charles and Anne to move first to England, and later to the small island of Illiec, off the coast of France.

Europe provided the setting for the Lindberghs' fall from grace; he for his isolationist views, and she for thoroughly supporting him. In the late 1930s, the U.S. Air Attaché in Berlin invited Charles Lindbergh to inspect the rising power of Nazi Germany's Air Force. Impressed by German technology and their apparent number of planes, as well as influenced by the staggering number of deaths from World War I, Lindbergh opposed U.S. entry into the impending European conflict.

The Isolationist Movement quickly adopted Charles Lindbergh as their leader, but after Pearl Harbor and Germany's declaration of war, the movement was condemned for what some of the public at large interpreted to be its pro-German, anti-British and anti-Semitic sentiments.

During the post-World War II era, Anne Lindbergh and her husband wrote books, restablishing the positive reputation they lost during their involvement with the Isolationist Movement. The most famous of Anne's literary output during that period is Gift from the Sea, her meditation on the meaning of a woman's life, which was published in 1955. Later, Anne edited and had published five volumes of her diaries from the period between 1922 and 1944.

Over the course of their 45-year marriage, Charles and Anne lived in New Jersey, New York, England, France, Maine, Michigan, Connecticut, Switzerland, and Hawaii. Charles died on Maui in 1974.

After suffering a series of strokes in the early 1990s, which left her confused and in poor health, Anne continued to live in her home in Connecticut with the assitance of round-the-clock caregivers. During a visit to her daughter Reeve's family in 1999, she came down with pneumonia, after which she went to live near Reeve in a small home built on Reeve's family's farm in Passumpsic, Vermont. It was there that Anne passed away in 2001, at the age of 94.

Anne received numerous awards and honors, in recognition of her contributions to both literature and aviation. The U.S. Flag Association honored her with its Cross of Honor in 1933 for having taken part in surveying transatlantic air routes. The following year, she was awarded the Hubbard Gold Medal by the National Geographic Society in acknowledgment of having completed 40,000 miles of exploratory flying with Charles, a feat that took them to five continents. Later, in 1993, Women in Aerospace presented her with an Aerospace Explorer Award, in recognition of her achievements in and contributions to the aerospace field.

In addition to being the recipient of honorary Masters and Doctor of Letters degrees from her Alma mater Smith College (1935; 1970), Anne also received honorary degrees from Amherst College (1939), the University of Rochester (1939) and Gustavus Adolphus College (1985). She was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the National Women's Hall of Fame, and the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey. War Within and Without<i>, the last installment of her published diaries, was conferred the Christopher Award.

Written Work

  • North to the Orient (1935)
  • Listen! The Wind (1938)
  • The Wave of the Future (1940)
  • The Steep Ascent (1944)
  • Gift from the Sea (1955)
  • The Unicorn and other Poems (1956)
  • Dearly Beloved (1962)
  • Earth Shine (1969)
  • Bring Me a Unicorn (1972)
  • Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead (1973)
  • Locked Rooms and Open Doors (1974)
  • The Flower and the Nettle (1976)
  • War Within and Without (1980)

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