“I hope that somewhere here and there, just my doing something that hadn’t been done, will encourage someone else who wants to do something very much, and hasn’t quite had the heart to try it.”
More than 50 years ago, Jerrie Mock flew into history, becoming the first woman to fly around the globe solo. On March 19, 1964, Jerrie, then a Bexley resident and mother of three, climbed into her single-engine Cessna, “Spirit of Columbus,” and took off from Port Columbus International Airport. She landed safely back at Port Columbus on April 17, after 29 days and more than 23,000 miles.
She detailed her flight and stories from around the world in her book, Three-Eight Charlie, originally published in 1970 and reprinted in 2013 to celebrate the half century since her famous flight.
On April 17, 2014, fellow aviators, historians, community leaders, and friends gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary, when a life-size bronze statue of Jerrie holding a globe, created by Columbus artist Renate Burgyan Fackler, was unveiled at Port Columbus International Airport.
On September 30, 2014, Jerrie passed away at her home in Florida at the age of 88.
Collectively, our community is comprised of visionaries who exemplify the determination, dedication, and commitment to achieve remarkable things. This is The Spirit of Columbus—and Jerrie Mock is a defining example of that spirit.
The Columbus Foundation created The Spirit of Columbus® Award in 2013 to recognize individuals who have exhibited an exemplary community spirit through their accomplishments. On March 19, 2013 Jerrie was named the first honoree for this award, and a $5,000 grant established the Jerrie Mock Pilot Club Fund. 2013 Award Winners also included David Brown and Jeni Britton Bauer. Additional award recipients include: the late Denny Griffith, former Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Tanny Crane, Jane Grote Abell, Michelle Alexander, Columbus’ leading African American artists, those who contributed to the “Save the Crew” movement, Dr. Amy Acton, Roshelle "Food Soldier" Pate, Joanna Pinkerton on behalf of the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), and Dr. Frederic Bertley, President and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry (COSI).
Learn more about The Spirit of Columbus Award and the honorees here.