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The BBC's David Willis in Los Angeles
"Ms Lindbergh described flying as 'beauty, adventure, discovery, the epitomy of breaking into new worlds'"
 real 28k

Thursday, 8 February, 2001, 05:49 GMT
Aviator Anne Lindbergh dies
Spirit of St Louis
The Lindberghs pioneered transatlantic flight
One of the pioneers of American aviation, Anne Morrow Lindbergh - who was also at the centre of one of the most notorious crime mysteries of the 20th century - has died in Vermont at the age of 94.

Described as a "painfully shy" person, Mrs Lindbergh came to prominence when she married the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh.

She was later to make many flights around the world as his co-pilot, recording their experiences in a series of books.

The BBC's California correspondent says that the couple were a source of fascination for the American people.

Five years after their marriage in 1929 they were at the focus of world attention for another reason - their first child, Charles junior, was kidnapped from their New York home and found dead 10 weeks later.

The crime, in which a $50,000 ransom was demanded, has never been satisfactorily explained.

Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German immigrant, was convicted of the child's murder but protested his innocence right up until his execution in 1936.

Record flight

In 1930 Mrs Lindbergh became the first American woman to get a glider pilot's licence.

A short time later, the couple set a trans-continental speed record, flying from Los Angeles to New York in just 15 hours. Mrs Lindbergh was seven months pregnant at the time.

In 1934, she received the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Gold Medal for distinction in exploration.

She published 13 books altogether, many of them autobiographical, including five volumes of diaries and letters which gave detailed accounts of their early lives.

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