Jacqueline Cochran

Facts about Jacqueline Cochran

Jacqueline Cochran died at 74 years old
Born: May 11, 1906
Died: August 9, 1980
Best known as: The aviator who headed women pilots in World War II


Jacqueline Cochran Biography

Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran was one of the most accomplished and famous aviators of the 20th century.

Cochran was raised in a foster home and began her working life before she was a teenager.

While in her teens, she became a successful salon stylist in New York City. By the time she was an adult she was the owner of Jacqueline Cochran, Inc., manufacturers and distributors of perfumes and cosmetics.

Cochran then learned to fly in 1932 — still in her mid-20s — and never looked back.

One of the few women pilots of the early era, she broke many speed, distance and altitude records.

Cochran won the Bendix Trophy in 1938 (an air race from Los Angeles to Cleveland), she was instrumental in forming the WASPs in World War II (Women Airforce Service Pilots, women who flew and delivered aircraft around the world), and she was the first woman to break the sound barrier (1953).

Cochran sold her company in 1963 and retired from flying in 1970 as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve.


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