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Orville Wright

Orville Wright was a multi-award-winning American aviation pioneer, who, with his brother Wilbur, achieved history's first verified, powered, sustained and controlled flight of an airplane from level ground on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville was at the controls for the first flight at 10:35 a.m. that December morning, then they alternated as pilot for several additional flights. Orville was co-inventor of the airplane with his brother Wilbur, for which they were awarded patent No. 821,393.

He was the co-founder of Wright Cycle Company (1892), and served as Vice President (1909-12), then President (1912-15) of The Wright Company which he co-founded. In the early years of flight, the Wright brothers established countless distance and altitude records, and later, would retake many of their initial records. They were also pioneers in wind tunnel development, having constructed one of the world's first wind tunnels to test their many glider and plane designs.

Biographical fast facts

Date and place of birth: August 19, 1871, at 7 Hawthorn Street, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.

Date, time, place and cause of death: January 30, 1948, at 10:30 p.m., Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A. (Heart attack)

Siblings: Reuchlin Wright (b. March 17, 1861 - d. 1920)
Lorin Wright (b. November 18, 1862 - d. 1939)
Wilbur Wright (b. April 16, 1867, North County Road 750E, near Millville, Indiana - d. May 30, 1912, at 3:15 a.m., at 7 Hawthorn Street, Dayton, Ohio, of typhoid fever)
Otis Wright (b. and d. 1870, twin of Ida, died in infancy) (brothers)

Sisters: Ida Wright (b. and d. 1870, twin of Otis, died in infancy)
Katharine Wright (b. August 19, 1874 - d. March 3, 1929)

Father: Milton Wright (b. November 17, 1828 - d. April 3, 1917)
Mother: Susan Catharine (Koerner) Wright (b. April 30, 1831 - d. July 4th, 1889)

Burial site: Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.

Error correction or clarification

NOTE: Orville Wright was born in the upstairs front bedroom of the family home at 7 Hawthorn Street, Dayton, Ohio. Also, be aware that initial reports placed his death at "10:40 p.m.," then were later revised to 10:30.


The most in-depth of more than three dozen sources consulted in preparing this profile, was the 1989 biography, The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright, by Tom D. Crouch.

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