Geraldine F. Mock
The Spirit of Columbus, airplane flown by pioneering female pilot Jerrie Mock, in a hangar at Port Columbus airport, Columbus, Ohio. In 1964 Mock was the first woman to complete a solo flight around the world.
Geraldine Fredritz Mock was born on November 22, 1925, in Newark, Ohio. Mock, better known as "Jerrie," was the first woman to fly around the world. On March 9, 1964, Mock took off from Columbus in her plane, the "Spirit of Columbus." The "Spirit of Columbus" was a Cessna 180. Mock's trip around the world took twenty-nine days, eleven hours, and fifty-nine minutes, with the pilot returning to Columbus on April 17, 1964. She had flown 23,103 miles. On this flight, Mock had set the round-the-world speed record for planes smaller than 3,858 pounds. As a result of her flight, President Lyndon Baines Johnson awarded Mock the Federal Aviation Administration's Exceptional Service Decoration. In 1975, Mock's Cessna was donated to the National Air and Space Museum. For her contributions to flight, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale honored Mock with its Louis Bleriot Medal, the organization's highest honor. Mock was the first woman and also the first U.S. citizen to receive the medal.
Mock also led an active life beyond flying. She served as producer of Youth Has Its Say, the first television program dedicated to allowing children to voice their opinions. She also authored several magazine articles and a book, and Mock also wrote and directed a radio program, Opera Preludea.