|Anne Morrow Lindbergh|
|Wednesday, 11 March 2009 10:02|
Anne Spencer Morrow
Born: June 22, 1906, Englewood, New Jersey
Died: February 7, 2001, Passumpsic, Vermont
Cause of death: Strokes, Pneumonia, old age.
Notable because: Mother of the Lindbergh baby that was famously kidnapped and killed in the full glare of world publicity in 1932, causing her to reflect 'the first days of grief are not the worst' . High achieving woman, gifted writer. 45 Marriage to most eligible American, Charles Lindbergh, was beset with disloyalty, she in a 3 year affair with her doctor and he with a Bavarian woman 24 years his junior, with whom he had three secret children.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the second of four children born to Dwight Whitney Morrow and Elizabeth Cutter Morrow. Her siblings were Elisabeth Reeve (born 1904), Dwight, Jr. (1908), and Constance (1913).
Anne was raised in a household that fostered achievement. Every day at 5 PM, her mother would drop everything and read to her children. After the young Morrows outgrew this practice, they would employ that hour to read by themselves, or to write poetry and diaries. Anne in particular later capitalized on this routine learned in her youth to write her diaries, eventually published to critical acclaim.
Her father was consecutively a lawyer, a partner at J. P. Morgan & Co., United States Ambassador to Mexico, and Senator from New Jersey. Her mother was active in women's education, serving on the board of trustees and briefly as acting president of her alma mater Smith College.
After graduating from The Chapin School in New York City in 1924, Anne attended Smith College, from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1928. She received the Elizabeth Montagu Prize for her essay on women of the eighteenth century and Madame d'Houdetot, and the Mary Augusta Jordan Literary Prize for her fictional piece entitled "Lida Was Beautiful".
Anne and Charles Lindbergh met in Mexico, when Dwight Morrow, Lindbergh's financial adviser at J.P. Morgan and Co., invited Lindbergh to Mexico, shortly before Morrow resigned to become the American ambassador, in order to advance good relations between that country and the United States.
Anne Morrow and Charles Lindbergh were married at the home of her parents in Englewood on May 27, 1929. That year, she flew solo for the first time, and in 1930 became the first American woman to earn a first class glider pilot's license. In the 1930s, Anne and Charles together explored and charted air routes between continents. Thus the Lindberghs were the first to fly from Africa to South America, and explored polar air routes from North America to Asia and Europe.
In an incident widely known as the "Lindbergh kidnapping", the Lindberghs' first child, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, was kidnapped at 20 months of age from their home in East Amwell, New Jersey outside Hopewell on March 1, 1932. After a massive investigation, a baby's body, presumed to be that of Charles Lindbergh III, was discovered the following May 12, some four miles (6 km) from the Lindberghs' home, at the summit of a hill on the Hopewell-Mt. Rose Highway.
She was the basis for Sonia Armstrong in the novel Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
The frenzied press attention paid to the Lindberghs, particularly after the kidnapping of their son and later the trial, conviction and execution of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, prompted Charles and Anne to move first to England, to a house called Long Barn owned by Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, and later to the small island of Illiec, off the coast of Brittany in France. Charles and Anne Lindbergh had five more children: sons Jon, Land and Scott, and daughters Anne and Reeve.
While in Europe, the Lindberghs came to advocate isolationist views that led to their fall from grace in the eyes of many. In the late 1930s, the U.S. Air Attaché in Berlin invited Charles Lindbergh to inspect the rising power of Nazi Germany's Air Force. Impressed by German technology and their apparent number of planes, as well as influenced by the staggering number of deaths from World War I, Lindbergh opposed U.S. entry into the impending European conflict. Anne wrote a book titled The Wave of the Future, arguing that something resembling fascism was the unfortunate "wave of the future", echoing authors such as Lawrence Dennis and later James Burnham.
The antiwar America First Committee quickly adopted Charles Lindbergh as their leader, but after Pearl Harbor and Germany's declaration of war, the committee disbanded.
After the war, Anne and Charles wrote books that rebuilt the reputations they had gained and lost before WWII. Over the course of their 45-year marriage, Charles and Anne lived in New Jersey, New York, England, France, Maine, Michigan, Connecticut, Switzerland, and Hawaii. Charles died on Maui in 1974.
After suffering a series of strokes in the early 1990s, which left her confused and disabled, Anne continued to live in her home in Connecticut with the assistance of round-the-clock caregivers. During a visit to her daughter Reeve's family in 1999, she came down with pneumonia, after which she went to live near Reeve in a small home built on Reeve's Vermont farm, where Anne died in 2001 at the age of 94. Reeve Lindbergh's book "No More Words" tells the story of her mother's last years.
Anne received numerous awards and honors, in recognition of her contributions to both literature and aviation. The U.S. Flag Association honored her with its Cross of Honor in 1933 for having taken part in surveying transatlantic air routes. The following year, she was awarded the Hubbard Medal by the National Geographic Society for having completed 40,000 miles (64,000 km) of exploratory flying with Charles, a feat that took them to five continents. Later, in 1993, Women in Aerospace presented her with an Aerospace Explorer Award in recognition of her achievements in, and contributions to, the aerospace field.
In addition to being the recipient of honorary Masters and Doctor of Letters degrees from her alma mater Smith College (1935; 1970), Anne also received honorary degrees from Amherst College (1939), the University of Rochester (1939), Middlebury College (1976), and Gustavus Adolphus College (1985). She was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the National Women's Hall of Fame, and the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey. War Within and Without, the last installment of her published diaries, received the Christopher Award.
Though (typically) he never showed it, Charles was hurt by Anne's 3-year affair in the early 50's with her personal doctor. This may have led to the fact that from 1957 until his death in 1974, Charles had an affair with a Bavarian woman 24 years his junior, whom he supported financially. The affair was kept secret, and only in 2003, after Anne and the mistress were both dead, did DNA testing prove that Charles had fathered the mistress's three children. One child came to suspect that Lindbergh was their father and made her suspicions public, after finding among her dead mother's effects snapshots of, and letters from, Charles. He is also suspected of having fathered children by a sister of his Bavarian mistress, and by his personal secretary. All this may have contributed to the stoic character of Anne's later life.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 08:51|