You probably never heard of Jerrie Mock, but you should. While she will never be as well known as Amelia Earhart, Jerrie Mock did what Earhart (sadly) was never able to accomplish: she was the first female to successfully solo flight around the earth. It took 27 years after Earhart’s attempt to happen but in 1964 Geraldine “Jerrie’ Mock would be the first to succeed.
While she had been flying since her teenage years and was a skilled aviatrix, for years piloting took a backseat to being a housewife and mother of three children. Mock was approached about the idea of circumnavigating the globe and when she agreed she was dubbed by the press as the “Flying Housewife”. Unbeknownst to her, another woman was also approached to attempt the record as well. The trumped up “competition” was all the rage in 1964. The other woman Joan Merriam Smith would depart from San Francisco while mock would depart from Columbus Ohio. While Smith would leave two days earlier than Mock, Jerrie was able to make up for the lost time and would complete her journey on April 17th, 1964, a couple days before Smith. In doing this feat Mock also became the first woman to do a transpacific flight. She was quite a celebrity for a few years, but then contentedly returned to private life. Mock died in 2014 at the age of 88. her last request was to be cremated and have her ashes placed in the Gulf of Mexico near her home in Florida so she could “travel around the world one last time.”