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Carol Harmon, The Columbus Foundation,, 614/251-4000


Jerrie Mock Honored for Her Historic Flight

Mock inducted into the Paul E. Garber Shrine during Wright Brothers Anniversary of Powered Flight

COLUMBUS, OH (December 17, 2015)—Jerrie Mock, the Columbus woman who in 1964 became the first women to successfully fly solo around the world, was inducted today into the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The induction was part of the First Flight Society’s 112th Wright Brothers Anniversary of Powered Flight. Columbus Foundation President and CEO Douglas F. Kridler was the keynote speaker for the event.

“As an organization and a community, we proudly honor Jerrie’s legacy as an aviation pioneer,” said Kridler. “Though her historic flight took place over half a century ago, she continues to inspire those who have the determination, perseverance, and bravery to chase down their dreams.”

Photo: Susan Reid, Jerrie Mock's sister, Shirley Brooks-Jones, and Doug Kridler, at the induction.

The First Flight Society, organized in 1927, is a nonprofit organization devoted to fostering and promoting a public awareness of the origin, history, and future of flight—and to memorialize Orville and Wilbur Wright. Since 1932, in conjunction with the National Park Service, the First Flight Society has been sponsoring a special program on December 17 in recognition of the Wright brothers’ feat as first in the world to successfully achieve powered flight in a heavier- than-air machine on December 17, 1903, near Kill Devil Hills, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The Society established the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine, a portrait gallery at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Named for the first director of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, it honors individuals and groups that have achieved significant “firsts” in aviation’s development. A new member has been inducted during December 17 ceremonies every year since 1966.

The “Spirit of Columbus,” Mock’s tiny, 11-year old, single-engine Cessna 180 custom-fitted with giant fuel tanks, lifted off from Port Columbus International Airport on March 19, 1964. A 38-year-old mother of three, she set off on her journey with less than 800 hours flying time. She accomplished the record in 29 days.

Mock passed away on September 30, 2014, at her home in Quincy, Florida. She was 88. 

Since 2013, The Columbus Foundation has annually recognized Jerrie Mock’s remarkable accomplishment through The Spirit of Columbus Award  (The Jerries), created to celebrate emerging leaders and contributors to our civic spirit and those who support emerging talent. Mock was the first recipient of the award. Notable community leaders David Brown, Jeni Britton Bauer, Denny Griffith, and Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman have also received the honor.

About The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to 2,400 individuals, families, and businesses who have created charitable funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for more than 70 years, The Columbus Foundation is the seventh largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s online marketplace, PowerPhilanthropy,® makes giving mobile, easy, and smart. For more information, visit or call 614/251-4000.

December 17, 2015