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 States.
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.