He was the century's first hero and unwittingly pioneered the age of mass-media celebrity

I was the youngest of four brothers and two sisters and grew up during the second half of my father's life, when the early years of triumph, tragedy and controversy were over. I felt no personal familiarity with the famous 1927 flight, and if I asked my father about that accomplishment, he would say only, "Read my book!"

He wrote this passage on the flight: "Now I've burned the last bridge behind me. All through the storm and darkest night, my instincts were anchored to the continent of North America, as though an invisible cord still tied me to its coasts....

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