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The remarkable story of Earle Lewis Ovington, American pioneer aviator and inventor — Robert D. Campbell



"I am in total agreement with your introductory remark—
’Much can be learned today from a study of his life...he
achieved a truly amazing number of accomplishments.

This is also very true of Nikola Tesla's remarkable journey
through life and his dedicated work ethic. There is no doubt
that both men left an incredible legacy for future generations
to be inspired for the good of all mankind.

I am certain that many who have the opportunity to read your extraordinary book will be inspired and better informed on how greatness is achieved."

Richard Wesley Mathias
Vice President-Board of Directors
Mid-America Science Museum
Hot Springs, Arkansas



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an overview

Known only as America’s first Air Mail Pilot, there is much more to the story of Earle Lewis Ovington that can be learned today from a study of his life. Earle Ovington exemplified all that was right with America—true sportsmanship, common sense, fairness, perseverance, achievement, entrepreneurship, competitiveness, and personal responsibility—character traits sadly lacking in much of America today. In a multifaceted career that spanned a mere fifty-seven years, he achieved a truly amazing number of accomplishments.

From the wind-swept streets of Chicago, to the hurried pace of New York City, to the quiet Newton Highlands suburb of Boston, to the boardwalks o f Atlantic City and the lush open spaces of Santa Barbara, California, Earle Lewis Ovington passionately pursued his dreams. At age sixteen he left home to seek employment with Thomas Edison and later earned his Electrical Engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a showman, a multi-enterprising entrepreneur, inventor, and fearless pioneer aviator.

In a detailed and well researched narrative that draws upon hundreds of photographs, letters, government records, and original source materials from private and family records, the author weaves the story of the life of Earle Ovington—from his little known contribution to early X-ray technology and friendship with Nikola Tesla, to his roles in the advancement of the early motorcyle and aviation industries in America.

Anchored in the optimism of the late nineteenth century, he was a visionary who continually looked to the future. Virtually forgotten today, Earle Ovington lived a life of which most people can only dream. Reminiscences of a Birdman tells for the first time to a new generation, the complete story of this uniquely American hero.

432 pages; over 650 B&W and color
photos, letters, maps, and illustrations;
9 x 10 3/4 hardcover $59.99;
ISBN 978-0-615-28188-9