Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Rags to Riches Record Breaker

Jackie Cochran’s life is a come from behind journey that would inspire anyone. To prove the point, take a look at the following:

  • Orphan (she never knew her parents). She was not sure within two years of when she was born. Later made up a birth year and birth date.
  • Lived in abject poverty, had no formal schooling.
  • Foster parents put her to work full time in a mill in a southern town five years before becoming a teenager.
  • At approximately eight years of age she received her first pair of shoes.

A few of her accomplishments:

  • Founded a worldwide cosmetics company
  • Recruited over 1.000 women to start the W.A.S.P.S. (Women’s Air Force Service Pilots) during WWII
  • Flew a young Lyndon Johnson to a hospital and saved his life
  • First woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic
  • First woman to fly a jet across the Atlantic
  • First woman to break the sound barrier
  • First woman to fly twice the speed of sound
  • First woman to win the Bendix Air Race against a field of men
  • In one year set nine international speed, distance and altitude records. The altitude record was over 50,000 feet.
  • Won the Harmon Trophy as "Outstanding Woman of the Year" 16 times!
  • Talked a retired general and close friend into running for President. His reluctance gave way to Jackie’s persistence. His name? Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower.
  • At her death in 1980, she held more speed and altitude records worldwide than anyone else––male or female. This still remains the case.
  • When asked later in life how she had accomplished so much, she smiled and said:

“I didn’t have shoes, but I had dreams”

The best is yet to be!


P.S. There is a great deal of information on her on the Internet. Whether you’re a female or a male you won’t be able to put down her autobiography called, “Jackie Cochran.”