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Charles Augustus Lindbergh (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974) was an American aviator, author, inventor and explorer.
On May 20–21, 1927, Lindbergh, then a 25-year old U.S. Air Mail pilot, emerged from virtual obscurity to almost instantaneous world fame as the result of his Orteig Prize-winning solo non-stop flight from Roosevelt Field on Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris in the single-seat, single-engine monoplane Spirit of St. Louis.
Lindbergh, an Army reserve officer, was awarded the nation's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his historic exploit.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Lindbergh used his fame to relentlessly help promote the rapid development of U.S. commercial aviation. In March, 1932, however, his infant son, Charles, Jr., was kidnapped and murdered in what was soon dubbed the "Crime of the Century" which eventually led to the Lindbergh family fleeing the United States in December 1935 to live in Europe where they remained up until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Before the United States entered WWII in December, 1941, Lindbergh had been an outspoken advocate of keeping the U.S. out of the world conflict (as was his Congressman father during World War I) and became a leader of the anti-war America First movement. Nonetheless, he supported the war effort after Pearl Harbor and flew many combat missions in the Pacific Theater of World War II as a civilian consultant, even though President Roosevelt had refused to reinstate his Army Air Corps colonel's commission that he had resigned earlier in 1939.
In his later years, Lindbergh became a prolific prize-winning author, international explorer, inventor, and active environmentalist.