Katherine Stinson: a snapshot biography.

“When I began to talk about flying, she already had confidence in me. My mother never warned me not to do this or that for fear of being hurt. Of course I got hurt, but I was never afraid.”

Katherine Stinson, circa 1910
Katherine Stinson, circa 1910


Born in Alabama in 1891, Katherine Stinson wanted to be a piano player during her teenage years. So to make money for lessons, she earned a pilot’s certificate, which she was going to use to teach others to fly. But she fell in love with flying and decided to become an aviator instead.

This was 1912, when Katherine was 21 years old. She spent the next six years teaching others to fly, performing flying feats, setting distance records for non-stop flights in the U.S. and Canada, and she becoming the first female Air Mail pilot in the U.S.

Katherine Stinson, circa 1919
Katherine, circa 1919

Sources: Photograph taken circa 1910 – Bain News Service, Publisher. Katherine Stinson and her aeroplane. [Between Ca. 1910 and 1915] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2014698246/>.