Anne Morrow Lindbergh
When Charles Lindbergh returned to the United States after making his
historic solo flight from New York to Paris, he was both a hero and the biggest
celebrity in the world. In the weeks and months that followed, Lindbergh
received over 100,000 telegrams and cables of congratulations and adulation from citizens
of all walks of life. Among these telegrams were numerous proposals of
marriage. The 25-year-old Lindbergh had never given the prospect of marriage
serious thought as he pursued his other endeavors. "I had always taken for
granted that someday I would marry and have a family of my own, but I had not
thought much about it. In fact, I had never been enough interested in any girl
to ask her to go on a date," he wrote in "Autobiography of Values." It was
against his nature to carry on like a footloose playboy. If he was to fall in
love, he would do so in his own reserved fashion. He would evaluate a
prospective bride in a calculating and scientific fashion. How was her health?
Was she of good physical standing? Lindbergh believed that mating involved "the
most important choice of one's life. One mates not only with an individual, but
also with that individual's environment and ancestry."
In December 1927, Lindbergh accepted the invitation of Dwight Morrow, the
American ambassador to Mexico, to visit the Latin American country. Lindbergh
flew himself to Mexico, covering 2,100 miles in poor weather conditions. Over
150,000 people greeted him upon his arrival in Mexico City.
Nearly lost within that crowd was the one person who caught Lindbergh's eye,
the ambassador's 21-year-old daughter, Anne Morrow. Lindbergh was drawn to
Anne's quiet and contemplative nature. Yet within the spirit of this budding
young poet was an adventurous woman eager to seek out new worlds. Falling in
love gave her the confidence to do just that. "The man I was to marry believed
in me and what I could do, and consequently I found I could do more than I
realized.., " she later recounted in her diaries. As their courtship
progressed, Lindbergh taught Anne how to fly. The two were married in a brief,
simple ceremony at the Morrow's estate in Englewood, New Jersey on May 27,
1929. Anne was 23 years old. Just over a year later, Anne Morrow Lindbergh gave
birth to the first of her six children, Charles A. Lindbergh, III. His 1932
kidnapping and murder would forever alter her life.
Much time during the early years of the Anne Morrow Lindbergh's marriage to
Charles Lindbergh was spent flying. Anne took to flying with ease, and soon
became her husband's trusted co-pilot on history-making journeys that took them
all over the world. In 1931 they journeyed in a single-engine plane over Canada
and Alaska, and on to Japan and China. The flight was the inspiration for
Morrow Lindbergh's first book, "North to the Orient." She went on to write more
than a dozen others. Her most controversial published work was her 1940 book
"The Wave of the Future," in which she appeared to share her husband's
favorable opinions regarding Nazi Germany. Speaking of the book in a 1973
television interview, Morrow Lindbergh admitted, "It was a mistake... It didn't
help anybody... I didn't have the right to write it. I didn't know enough."
Morrow Lindbergh's interest in flight was not a passing fancy. In 1934, the
National Geographic Society awarded her its Hubbard Gold Medal for her
accomplishments in 40,000 miles of exploratory flying over five continents with
her husband. In addition, she was awarded the Cross of Honor of the U.S. Flag
Association in recognition of her accomplishments in surveying transatlantic
air routes. She was also the first licensed female glider pilot in the United
Morrow Lindbergh's writings reflected her views of the role women should play
in the world. Her 1956 book, "Gift from the Sea," topped the best-seller list
for months and continued to sell steadily through the coming decades. In the
book, Morrow Lindbergh presented eight inspirational essays concerning the
meaning of a woman's life.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh continued to write following her husband's death in 1974.
She has been presented with numerous honorary degrees from institutions of
higher education, including Smith College (her alma mater), and Amherst
College. She has also been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and
the National Aviation Hall of Fame.