Ann Morrow Lindbergh

Aviation has played a major role in globalization and therefore has a special interest for WAIS.  We welcome John Gehl's bio of the noted writer and aviation pioneer Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001), who was married to famed aviator Charles A. Lindbergh.  Although her life was fully entwined with that of her famous husband, Anne Morrow Lindbergh did not live merely in the shadow of her husband but is rightly honored for her own accomplishments. She was the first licensed woman glider pilot in the United States, and in 1931 she qualified to fly private aircraft. Beyond that, she became a publishable writer of some importance. Besides books like North to the Orient and Listen! The Wind, in which she chronicled the exploratory flights she made with her husband, she wrote nine other books, including Earth Shine about the Apollo 8 space flight and Steep Ascent, a novel about a perilous flight made by a husband and wife team.  Her best known book perhaps is the widely read Gift from the Sea, an inspirational work matched only by her five volumes of diaries and letters covering the years 1922 to 1944.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was born in Englewood, New Jersey, the daughter of two distinguished parents: businessman, ambassador, and U.S. Senator Dwight Morrow and Elizabeth Cutter Morrow, poet and women's education advocate. She attended Miss Chapin's School in New York City and in 1928 graduated from Smith College. She first met Charles Lindbergh at her father's embassy in Mexico City in December 1927. They married in May 1929 in a private ceremony. The newly wed couple spent much time in their early years together making long flights to chart potential air routes for commercial airlines. Taught to fly by her husband, Anne served as co-pilot, navigator and radio operator on these air surveys across the continent and in the Caribbean. In 1931, they flew a single-engine airplane, the Lockheed "Sirius," over uncharted routes from Canada and Alaska to Japan and China, and then in 1933 completed a five-and-one-half-month, 30,000-mile survey of North and South Atlantic air routes, described by Charles Lindbergh as more difficult and hazardous than his epic New York-to-Paris flight.

The Lindberghs had six children, one of whom was tragically kidnapped and murdered in March 1932. The event was so sensationalized and newspaper coverage so incessant that after the capture and conviction of Bruno Richard Hauptmann in 1935, the Lindberghs sought refuge in England and France, before returning to the United States in 1939. By then Anne had established herself as a writer, and would enjoy a productive literary career for the remaining years of her long life. She died in 2001 at her second home in Vermont.

See <>for a biography of Anne Morrow Lindbergh by Susan Hertog -

RH: John does not mention that the murder of one of their children greatly embittered Lindbergh, who declared his disillusionment with America democracy and made pro-Nazi statements and thereby became very unpopular. I do not know what Anne's reaction was, but I imagine that she felt like her husband.

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Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: September 28, 2004