On this day in 1892, Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman to obtain both a pilot’s license and an international aviation license, was born

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Bessie Coleman - The first African-American woman to obtain both a pilot's license and an international aviation license | National Air and Space Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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Bessie Coleman was born on January 26, 1892. She achieved historic milestones as the first African-American woman to obtain both a pilot’s license and an international aviation license.

At the age of 18, Coleman utilized her savings to attend the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University, completing one term before financial constraints forced her to return home.

Bessie Coleman pilot’s license in 1921 from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale | Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1915, she relocated to Chicago, working as a manicurist and absorbing tales from World War I pilots. Driven by a determination to fly, she journeyed to Paris, where she earned the distinction of being the first African-American woman with an international aviation license and the world’s inaugural female aviation pilot.

Known for her daring feats, Coleman tragically perished in 1926 at the age of 34 when a plane malfunction led to a fatal crash.


Check out the AURN original podcast, INVISIBLE EAGLES: Bessie Coleman Presented By AARP:


Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Clay Cane. Follow @claycane & @aurnonline for more.

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