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.”