CHARLES LINDBERGH d1974. American aviator, military officer, author, inventor, explorer and environmental activist nicknamed "Lucky Lindy-The Lone Eagle-Slim". In 1927, at the age of just 25, he went from obscurity as a US Air Mail pilot to instantaneous world fame by winning the Orteig Prize by making a non-stop flight from New York to Paris. He covered the 33 hour / 3,600 mile (5,800 km) alone in a single-engine purpose-built Ryan monoplane the "Spirit of St Louis". This was the first solo transatlantic flight and the first non-stop flight between North America and mainland Europe. Lindbergh was an officer in the US Army Air Corps Reserve and he received the United States' highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor for the feat. His achievement spurred interest in both commercial aviation & air mail and Lindbergh himself devoted much time and effort to promoting such activity. However his historic flight and celebrity status was to lead to tragedy. In March 1932, his infant son (Charles Jr) was kidnapped and murdered in what American media called the "Crime of the Century". The case prompted the United States Congress to establish kidnapping as a Federal crime once the kidnapper had crossed state lines with his victim. By late 1935 the hysteria surrounding the case drove the Lindbergh family into voluntary exile in Europe, from which they only returned in 1939. Before the United States formally entered WW2 some people accused him of being a fascist sympathizer. An advocate of non-interventionism, he supported the antiwar America First Commitee which opposed American aid to Britain in its war against Germany and he resigned his commission in the US Army Airforce in 1941 after President Roosevelt publicly rebuked him for his views. Nevertheless, he publicly supported the US war effort after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and flew fifty combat missions in the Pacific Theater of World War II as a civilian consultant, though Roosevelt refused to reinstate his Air Corps colonel's commission. In his later years, he became a prolific prize-winning author, international explorer, inventor and environmentalist. He and his wife (Anne Morrow) were the parents of six children. He died in Hawaii aged 72 on August 26th 1974. Twenty nine years after his death (in 2003), it was revealed that (beginning in 1957 when he was 55 years old), Lindbergh had engaged in several covert adulterous affairs with three European women, with whom he fathered seven more children, none of whom had learned of their father's true identity until a decade after his 1974 death ......
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