January 26

January 26, 1892 – Bessie Coleman 

Bessie Coleman, First African American Pilot - GPN-2004-00027

Bessie Coleman

America’s first African American female pilot, Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman was born on January 26, 1892 in Atlanta, Texas. Coleman was the first woman of any race to have an international pilot license.  The civil aviator thrilled audiences around the country for several years in airshows. Because of a mechanical problem, Coleman died on April 30, 1926 in a plane crash at the age of 34 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Bessie Coleman and her plane (1922)

Bessie Coleman and her plane (1922)

 Bessie Coleman was billed as “The World’s Greatest Woman Flier”.

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Bessie Coleman