Charles Augustus Lindbergh, nicknamed Slim, Lucky Lindy, and The Lone Eagle, was an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist.
As a 25-year-old U.S. Air Mail pilot, Lindbergh emerged suddenly from virtual obscurity to instantaneous world fame as the result of his Orteig Prize-winning solo non-stop flight on May 20â€“21, 1927, made from Roosevelt Field in Garden City on New York's Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris, France, a distance of nearly 3,600 statute miles, in the single-seat, single-engine purpose-built Ryan monoplane Spirit of St. Louis. As a result of this flight, Lindbergh was the first person in history to be in New York one day and Paris the next. Lindbergh, a U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve officer, was also awarded the nation's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his historic exploit.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Lindbergh used his fame to promote the development of both commercial aviation and Air Mail services in the United States and the Americas. In March 1932, his infant son, Charles, Jr., was kidnapped and murdered in what was soon dubbed the "Crime of the Century". It was described by journalist H.L. Mencken, as "... the biggest story since the resurrection." The kidnapping eventually led to the Lindbergh family's being "driven into voluntary exile" in Europe, to which they sailed in secrecy from New York under assumed names in late December 1935 to "seek a safe, secluded residence away from the tremendous public hysteria" in America. The Lindberghs returned to the United States in April 1939.