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Bessie "Brave Bessie" Coleman
Birth: Jan. 26, 1892
Atlanta
Cass County
Texas, USA
Death: Apr. 30, 1926
Jacksonville
Duval County
Florida, USA

Generally recognized as the first African American aviator. She became interested in aviation from reading aviation magazines. Due to her race and gender, she could not gain entrance into any aviation schools in the United States. Learning from French (this group may have included Eugene "Jacque" Bullard, an African American who had been a military aviator with the French in World War I) and German instructor pilots, she earned her pilot's license in France in 1921 and an international pilot's license in 1922. She then returned to the United States where she, fondly known as "Brave Bessie," appeared in shows all around the country as an exhibition pilot and spoke on opportunities in aviation. She was planning to open a flying school for young African Americans when tragedy struck. While flying in the rear seat with a student pilot at Jacksonville, Florida, the controls of her aircraft jammed. Coleman, who was normally very safely conscious, was not wearing her seat belt (perhaps to do a more thorough assessment of landmarks for the following day's airshow and parachute jump) and fell from the aircraft when it flipped over at an altitude of 3,000 feet. The student pilot, who was strapped in, was also killed when the aircraft crashed about 1800 feet from where Ms. Coleman struck the ground. On each anniversary of her death, pilots have dropped flower arrangements on her grave. Lincoln Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois (bio by: Warrick L. Barrett) 
 
Burial:
Lincoln Cemetery
Blue Island
Cook County
Illinois, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 25, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 19750
Bessie Brave Bessie Coleman
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Bessie Brave Bessie Coleman
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Bessie Brave Bessie Coleman
Added by: Martin Hauk
 
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- Kaye Miller
 Added: Sep. 17, 2014

- Steve Fletcher UK
 Added: Jun. 10, 2014

- Robert Fowler
 Added: May. 2, 2014
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