|born on||19 August 1871|
|Place||Dayton, Ohio, 39n46, 84w12|
|Timezone||LMT m84w12 (is local mean time)|
American pioneer in aviation who, along with his brother, Wilbur, invented and built the first successful airplane. On the toss of a coin, he piloted the first flight of 120 feet and 12 seconds on 12/17/1903, on Kill Devil Hill at Kittyhawk, NC.
Orville was the second boy, born four years after Wilbur, two of five kids in a close and loving family. Orville was the jokester and the one to skip school. Though both boys were shy in public, in private he was excitable and talkative, always full of jokes and fun. Both boys were interested in mechanics from the time they were kids, and Orville dropped out of college to run a print shop from home. When Wilbur joined him as Editor, for the first time they referred to themselves as the Wright Brothers.
When their mom died, sister Katherine became the family mainstay and the three remained close all their lives.
The two boys established a bicycle shop in the early 1890s and went into production in 1896. Orville had typhoid fever that fall and during a long recovery over the next three years, spent many hours watching birds from the hillside near home. Both men were reading all they could about flight. In spite of setbacks and disappointments, they were obsessed from 1900 until they finally achieve their memorable goal in 1903.
Three years after Wilburn died on 5/30/1912, Orville sold their company and opened a small, private lab for aviation research. He lived out his days quietly as a recluse from the public, but as always, close to his family and friends.
While repairing his doorbell, Orville has a heart attack and died three days later, on 1/30/1948, Dayton, OH.
- sibling relationship with Wright, Wilbur (born 16 April 1867)
- compare to chart of Aviation: First flight (born 17 December 1903)
Time unknown; Penfield Collection spec 5:00 PM. In 2004, Sy Scholfield quotes same date and place but time of 5:00 (5AM) LMT from a biography by Ian Mackersey, "The Wright Brothers" (London: Little,
Brown, 2003), p. 28, which quotes father's diary: "Orville was born this morning." NB: As "morning" is the only information given I have taken it to literally mean sunrise.
- Vocation : Travel : Pilot/ private
- Notable : Awards : Hall of Fame
- Notable : Famous : Historic figure (Flight pioneer)
- Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Airplane)
- Notable : Book Collection : American Book