Amelia Earhart paved the way for female pilots the world over, becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean on a solo journey, and the first person to make a solo trip from Hawaii to the US mainland. She was also the first woman to fly solo over 14,000 feet, and the first woman to make a non-stop flight across the USA on her own.
Even in childhood, Earhart didn’t let early 20th century norms box her in, playing basketball, learning how to fix cars and enrolling in pre-med at Columbia University before starting flying lessons. Not content with her own success as an aviation pioneer, she helped advance the careers of future female pilots everywhere through her global organisation, the Ninety-Nines.
Earhart attempted to circumnavigate the globe in 1937 but never returned. However, the legacy she left continues to inspire girls and women from one generation to the next.
Among her many talents, Earhart also wrote poetry. Here are some of our favourite Amelia Earhart quotes to propel you through your next challenge.
1. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process, is its own reward.”
2. “I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
3. “Experiment! Meet new people. That’s better than any college education… By adventuring about, you become accustomed to the unexpected. The unexpected then becomes what it really is… the inevitable.”
4. “Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.”
5. “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things: knows not the livid loneliness of fear, nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear the sound of wings.”
6. “Now and then women should do for themselves what men have already done – occasionally what men have not done – thereby establishing themselves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action. Some such consideration was a contributing reason for my wanting to do what I so much wanted to do.”
7. “Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?”
8. Women must pay for everything. They do get more glory than men for comparable feats, but, they also get more notoriety when they crash.”
9. “Women must pay for everything. They do get more glory than men for comparable feats, but, they also get more notoriety when they crash.”
10. “There’s more to life than being a passenger.”
11. “In soloing – as in other activities – it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.”
12. “One of my favourite phobias is that girls, especially those whose tastes aren’t routine, often don’t get a fair break… It has come down through the generations, an inheritance of age-old customs, which produced the corollary that women are bred to timidity.”
13. “Worry retards reaction and makes clear-cut decisions impossible.”
14. “Anticipation, I suppose, sometimes exceeds realisation.”
15. “Some of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take off. But if you don’t have one, realise it is your responsibility to grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will follow after you.”
16. “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”