Famous American Aviators

The aviation industry would have lost many of its precious jewels had Americans not been included in the list. Though none can decline the fame of Neil Armstrong to be the grandest when it comes to American aviators, there have been number of other aviators who have contributed greatly. Topping the list is Charles Lindbergh, the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo, flying from New York to Paris. Not far behind is John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. His accomplishments on-board Freedom 7 was a marvellously impressive feat of the then era. Adding to the list of accomplishments are feats by aviators Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeagar, Steve Fossett, Richard E Byrd, James Banning, Bud Day and Glenn Curtiss. Interestingly, not just men, women too have left an indelible mark on the American aviation industry with their achievements and accomplishments. The first amongst them to mention is Amelia Earhart, popularly known as Lady Lindy. She was the first woman to fly solo across Atlantic Ocean and the first to fly solo from Honolulu to Oakland. Bessie Coleman changed the paradox of the aviation industry by becoming the first African American woman to become a pilot. To know more interesting facts about famous American aviators, check out this section.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes.
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Famous As: Entrepreneur, Investor
Birthdate: December 24, 1905
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Humble, Texas, US
Died: April 5, 1976

A multi-talented personality, Howard Hughes was one of the richest person of his time. A business tycoon, he made big investments in films and aviation industry. Passionate about flying, he set numerous flying records, and also risked his own life in process. Howard Hughes who inherited his family business and became millionaire at the age of 18, was later on troubled with mental illness and turned recluse.

 2 Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart.
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Famous As: Aviator, Pilot
Birthdate: July 24, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Atchison, Kansas, United States
Died: January 5, 1939

Amelia Earhart became the first female pilot to complete a solo trans-Atlantic flight, in 1932. A champion for equal rights, Amelia later wrote best-selling memoirs and contributed to the women pilot’s group The Ninety-Nines. In 1937, Amelia disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean and was later declared dead.

 3 Orville Wright

Orville Wright.
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Famous As: Co-inventor of First Successful Airplane
Birthdate: August 19, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: January 30, 1948

Orville Wright was an aviation pioneer who alongside his brother, Wilbur, built and flew the world's first successful motor-operated airplane, the Wright Flyer, a heavier-than-air aircraft. The three-axis control system developed by the brothers remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds. Orville also served on the board of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

 4 Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh.
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Famous As: Aviator, Inventor & Author
Birthdate: February 4, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died: August 26, 1974
Charles Lindbergh shot to fame after completing the first solo, and the longest, trans-Atlantic flight, in 1927. In his later years, his son’s highly publicized kidnapping and murder broke him completely. He also participated in World War II and worked on inventions that made flight navigation and heart surgeries easier.

 5 Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager.
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Famous As: Test Pilot
Birthdate: February 13, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Myra, West Virginia
Died: December 7, 2020
U.S. Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager was the first human to break the sound barrier, when he flew the Bell X-1 in 1947. He was a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot in World War II and also fought in the Vietnam War. He inspired the novel and movie The Right Stuff.

 6 Alan Shepard

Alan Shepard.
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Famous As: Astronaut, Aviator, Entrepreneur
Birthdate: November 18, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Derry
Died: July 21, 1998

Alan Shepard was an astronaut and the first American to travel into space. In 1971, Shepard became the fifth and oldest astronaut to walk on the Moon; he was 47 years and 80 days old at that time. From 1963 to 1969, he played an important role as the Chief of the Astronaut Office. His work inspired several TV series.

 7 Jim Lovell

Jim Lovell
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Famous As: Astronaut
Birthdate: March 25, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Retired American astronaut Jim Lovell commanded the iconic Apollo 13 mission and was one of the first three human beings to fly to the Moon, orbit it, and get back to Earth. He had also been a US Navy captain. Following his retirement, Lovell launched a restaurant in Lake Forest.

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 8 George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush.
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Famous As: 41st U.S. President
Birthdate: June 12, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milton, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 1, 2018

The 41st president of the U.S, George H.W. Bush also twice served as the vice president of the country and held various other important political positions before assuming the presidency. During his presidency, he led successful military operation against Panama and Iraq which made him popular, but domestic issues prevented him from winning a second term at the office.

 9 Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly
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Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: February 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States

 10 John McCain

John McCain.
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Famous As: United States Senator
Birthdate: August 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Coco Solo, Panama
Died: August 25, 2018

John McCain served as a US Senator for Arizona from 1987 until his death in 2018. Previously he was a US naval officer and is hailed as a war hero for his heroics during the Vietnam War. He was a supporter of LGBT rights, gun regulations and campaign finance reform. He was a Republican nominee for the 2008 presidential election but lost to Barack Obama.

 11 Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman.
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Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: January 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atlanta, Texas
Died: April 30, 1926

 12 Gordon Cooper

Gordon Cooper
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Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Test pilot, Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Aviator
Birthdate: March 6, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shawnee
Died: October 4, 2004

Part of the seven Project Mercury astronauts, Gordon Cooper manned a 34-hour space mission, becoming the first American to stay for a day in space. As part of the Gemini 5 mission, he and his co-pilot proved it was possible for astronauts to survive a mission to the Moon and back.

 13 Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ashley, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: January 16, 2014

 14 Susan Oliver

Susan Oliver
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 13, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: May 10, 1990

 15 Fred Haise

Fred Haise
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Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator, Fighter pilot
Birthdate: November 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Biloxi

 16 Pete Conrad

Pete Conrad
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Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator, Racecar driver
Birthdate: June 2, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: July 8, 1999

 17 Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter
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Famous As: Test pilot, Aquanaut, Astronaut, Autobiographer, Aviator, Writer
Birthdate: May 1, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Boulder
Died: October 10, 2013

 18 Ken Mattingly

Ken Mattingly
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Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator
Birthdate: March 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago

 19 James Stockdale

James Stockdale
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Famous As: Officer, Aviator, Politician
Birthdate: December 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Abingdon
Died: July 5, 2005

 20 MJ Hegar

MJ Hegar
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 16, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.

 21 Frank Borman

Frank Borman
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Famous As: Air force officer, Test pilot, Astronaut, Autobiographer, Aviator
Birthdate: March 14, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gary

 22 Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
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Famous As: Renowned Author & Aviator
Birthdate: June 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey
Died: February 7, 2001

 23 Eddie Rickenbacker

Eddie Rickenbacker.
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Famous As: Aviator, Racecar Driver, Military Personnel
Birthdate: October 8, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, US
Died: July 23, 1973

 24 Dieter Dengler

Dieter Dengler.
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Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: May 22, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wildberg, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany
Died: February 7, 2001

 25 Wally Schirra

Wally Schirra
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Famous As: United States Naval Aviator, Astronaut, Autobiographer, Test pilot, Aerospace engineer, Aviator, Businessperson
Birthdate: March 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hackensack
Died: May 3, 2007

 26 Randy Shughart

Randy Shughart
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Famous As: Military personnel, Aviator, Soldier
Birthdate: August 13, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lincoln
Died: October 3, 1993

 27 Steve Fossett

Steve Fossett
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: April 22, 1944
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jackson, Tennessee, United States
Died: September 3, 2007

 28 Edgar Mitchell

Edgar Mitchell
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Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator
Birthdate: September 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hereford
Died: February 4, 2016

 29 John T. Walton

John T. Walton.
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Famous As: Sam Walton's Son
Birthdate: October 8, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newport, Arkansas, United States
Died: June 27, 2005

 30 Roger B. Chaffee

Roger B. Chaffee
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Famous As: Officer, Aviator, Astronaut
Birthdate: February 15, 1935
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grand Rapids
Died: January 27, 1967

 31 Alan Bean

Alan Bean
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Famous As: Officer, Test pilot, Astronaut, Painter, Aviator
Birthdate: March 15, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wheeler

 32 Eugene Cernan

Eugene Cernan
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Famous As: Officer, Aviator, Astronaut, Fighter pilot, Autobiographer, Businessperson
Birthdate: March 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: January 16, 2017

 33 Betty Ong

Betty Ong
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Famous As: Flight attendant
Birthdate: February 5, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Francisco
Died: September 11, 2001

 34 Charles Duke

Charles Duke
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Famous As: Air force officer, Astronaut, Test pilot, Fighter pilot, Flight instructor, Aviator, Businessperson
Birthdate: October 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Charlotte

 35 Edward O'Hare

Edward O'Hare
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Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: March 13, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: November 26, 1943

 36 Guion Bluford

Guion Bluford
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Famous As: Aerospace Engineer
Birthdate: November 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 37 George Stephen Morrison

George Stephen Morrison
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Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: January 7, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome, Georgia, United States
Died: November 17, 2008

 38 Eugene Bullard

Eugene Bullard
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Famous As: Pilot
Birthdate: October 9, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, United States
Died: October 12, 1961

 39 James Irwin

James Irwin
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Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator
Birthdate: March 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pittsburgh
Died: August 8, 1991

 40 Joseph Kittinger

Joseph Kittinger
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Famous As: Officer, Aviator, Balloonist
Birthdate: July 27, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tampa

 41 Burt Rutan

Burt Rutan
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Famous As: Aerospace engineer, Engineer, Aviator, Entrepreneur
Birthdate: June 17, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Estacada

 42 Gail Halvorsen

Gail Halvorsen
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Famous As: Officer, Aviator
Birthdate: October 10, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Salt Lake City

 43 Bruce McCandless II

Bruce McCandless II
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Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: June 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 21, 2017

 44 Alfred Worden

Alfred Worden
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Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator
Birthdate: February 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Jackson

 45 Geraldyn M Cobb

Geraldyn M Cobb
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Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: March 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Norman, USA
Died: March 18, 2019

 46 William C. McCool

William C. McCool
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Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Aviator
Birthdate: September 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Diego
Died: February 1, 2003

 47 Glenn Curtiss

Glenn Curtiss
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Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: May 21, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hammondsport, New York, United States
Died: July 23, 1930

Glenn Curtiss was an American motorcycling and aviation pioneer. He is credited with founding the U.S. aircraft industry. He is also credited with forming the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company which merged with the Wright Aeronautical to form Curtiss-Wright Corporation in 1929. Glenn Curtiss’ company played a major role in the years leading up to the First World War.

 48 Jacqueline Cochran

Jacqueline Cochran
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Famous As: Pilot
Birthdate: May 11, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Muscogee, Cantonment, Florida, United States
Died: August 9, 1980

 49 Wiley Post

Wiley Post
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Famous As: Aviator
Birthdate: November 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Grand Saline, Texas, United States
Died: August 15, 1935

 50 Story Musgrave

Story Musgrave
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Famous As: Astronaut, Statistician, Aviator, Officer
Birthdate: August 19, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston