These essays in celebration of the Wright brothers' first flight 100 years ago grew out of presentations by a group of prominent scholars in 2003 at a conference sponsored by the NASA History Division and held at the Great Lakes
Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The volume focuses on the careers of some of the many men and women who helped to realize the dream of flight both through the atmosphere and beyond. These accounts are original and compelling because they examine the history of flight through the lens of biography. Collectively, these individuals helped to shape American aerospace history. There are obviously many other individuals that could, and arguably should, have been included in this collection, but we believe that the cross section of diverse individuals contained in this volume is important because it is symbolic of the dream of flight as a whole. These people all devoted their lives, and sometimes even sacrificed them, to the demands required for its realization.