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Secret Life of Charles A. Lindbergh

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It's hard to imagine one can have such a bold secret life and keep it hidden for years.

Spirit of St. Louis 1927

Spirit of St. Louis 1927

Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Charles Augustus Lindbergh

Charles became an instant world-wide folk hero when he captured the Orteig Prize of $25,000 when he began to make a solo flight from Long Island, New York to Paris, France, in 1927. Departing from New York on 5/20/1927 across the Atlantic Ocean some 3600 miles, and landing in Paris on 5/21/1927 to a staggering crowd of 150,000. It was a grueling, long, almost boring flight as he fought to stay awake. Lindbergh had his monoplane custom made in San Diego, California. The famous Spirit of St. Louis plane is on display at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington, D.C.

More than his daring flight across the Atlantic from N.Y. to Paris in 33 hours was how Lindberg was able to have a wife and six children along with three mistresses and SEVEN SECRET children. It seems almost ironic that the Lindbergh the public knew who regarded them as the "perfect couple and marriage." Having a secret life is not so uncommon, but this was Lindbergh who was a worldwide hero. It would be almost thirty years after his death before his secret life was acknowledged to the world.

His secret life was so secret to the world that it was not made public until the deaths of his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh and that of his first mistress Brigette Hesshaimer's death in 2001. Charles and Brigette had three children, Dyrk born in 1958, Astrid born in 1960, and David, born in 1967. Along with Brigette, Charles had another family with Brigette's sister, Marietta, and had two more children, Vago and Christopher. Marietta refused to be a part of any interviews.

Genetic testing was done in 2003 and, along with 150 love letters to Brigette-did, in fact, prove his parentage. The secret children, the Hesshaimers, knew Lindberg as Careu Kent. They had been told Kent was their father and an American writer, never knowing his fame. It is believed Lindbergh supported his secret families but spent little time with them. Yet the secret families have fond memories of Lindbergh. When the Hesshaimers made all this public, it was only about acknowledgement of his being their father. At no time was there any claim to his estate.

Kidnap and Murder of Lindbergh Baby

Kidnap and Murder of Lindbergh Baby

The Tragic Kidnapping and Murder of the Lindbergh Baby

Charles and his wife Anne were in grief when their first child, Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., was kidnapped and murdered. It was dubbed the "crime of the century." The killer was caught, tried, convicted, and electrocuted on 4/3/1936. The Lindberghs were forced to live abroad for a couple of years to avoid the constant intrusion of the media.

Lindbergh's Honors

Lindbergh cannot be denied the accomplishments he gave to aviation. The increase in pilot licenses, along with a surge of knowledge of airplanes, fueled things like airmail, increasing 50% within six months. The U.S. issued a .10 air-mail stamp in his honor. Lindbergh received the Medal of Honor in 1927 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1930. He was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1967.

Time Magazine had him on their January 2, 1928, as "Man of the Year." His plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, is on display at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington, D.C. His house and museum are ob Lindbergh Dr., Little Falls, Minnesota, 56345, 320-616-5421.

There was another darker side of Lindbergh that caused concern with the American public. Charles had suggested to Congress to negotiate a neutrality pact with Hitler, and he had even been given a medal by Hitler's government. He also eluded to anti-semitism, and his public support evaporated. He and President Roosevelt disagreed, and Lindbergh resigned from the Air Corp Reserve. He eventually contributes to the war flying over 50 combat missions over the Pacific, and this allowed President Dwight Eisenhower to promote him to brigadier general of the Air Force Reserves.

.10 Air Mail Stamp

.10 Air Mail Stamp

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

Books by Charles A. Lindbergh

Lindbergh's books include:

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The Spirit of St. Louis. This was written by Charles and his daughter Reeve Lindbergh and is an excellent source of information.

The Culture of Organs

Flight of Life

Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh

Autobiography of Values (posthumous 1978)

Charles died in 1974 of leukemia in Hawaii. When his wife Anne died, her ashes were scattered in Hawaii. Lindberg wrote letters to his mistresses ten days before he died, asking that his secrets remain secret. And his mistresses and secret children kept that promise until the deaths of his wife Anne and Brigette's death.

Yes, he had secret life and children but he will always be a hero to aviation.

Comments

Rosina S Khan on November 15, 2020:

Fran, I have got a new article posted. Check out my profile. My user id is surovi99.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on November 09, 2020:

Liz, thanks for reading. A lot was also news to me. Many people have secrets but this was unusual.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 08, 2020:

You have uncovered a lot of information in this article about Lindbergh. Most of this was new to me.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on November 08, 2020:

CJ Kelly. Thanks for your visit. I agree with your comment.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on November 08, 2020:

Rosina, thanks for reading. Appreciate it.

CJ Kelly from the PNW on November 08, 2020:

This was a wow moment for me...I had not read any of their memoris (Anne or Charles/their daughter's). Heroes are always more complicated then we realize.

Rosina S Khan on November 08, 2020:

This is an interesting account of Charles Augustus Lindbergh. Nevermind his secret life and children. Yes, he will always be a hero to aviation.