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Glenn Curtiss

AKA Glenn Hammond Curtis

Born: 21-May-1878
Birthplace: Hammondsport, NY
Died: 23-Jul-1930
Location of death: Buffalo, NY
Cause of death: Complications of Surgery
Remains: Buried, Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Hammondsport, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian Science
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Aviator

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: American aviation pioneer

Glenn Curtiss dropped out of school after eighth grade, and worked as a bicycle messenger before opening his bicycle repair shop in 1900. Drawn to speed, he raced bikes, and soon stepped up to motorcycles, setting several land speed records in the early 1900s. His high-performance motorcycle engines were used by makers of experimental aircraft, and in 1907 Curtiss began his own work in aviation. With Alexander Graham Bell, he worked on a motorized kite they hoped could carry passengers, and by 1910 he had won several air rallies flying early airplanes of his own design. He later built hydroplanes, seaplanes, and "aeroboats", and despite losing a patent-infringement lawsuit to Orville and Wilbur Wright, his Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Company became a major manufacturer of aircraft during World War I. Curtiss himself, however, was squeezed out of control of the company in 1920, and his company later merged with the Wright Bros' business to become Curtiss-Wright Corporation. He also established the Curtiss Aerocar Land Yacht Company, which designed, manufactured, and helped popularize motor homes.

Father: Frank Richmond Curtiss (harness maker, b. 1854, d. 1883)
Mother: Lua Andrews Curtiss
Sister: Rutha Luella Curtiss (b. 1881, d. 1960)
Wife: Lena Pearl Neff Curtiss (b. 1879, m. 7-Mar-1898 until his death, d. 1951, two sons)
Son: Carlton Curtiss (b. 1901, d. infancy)
Son: Glenn H Curtiss, Jr. (b. 1912, d. 1969)

    National Inventors Hall of Fame 2003
    Curtiss Aerocar Land Yacht Company (Founder & President, 1920-30)
    Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Company (Founder & President, 1916-20)
    Curtiss Aeroplane Company (Founder & President, 1910-16)
    Herring-Curtiss Company (Co-founder, 1909-10)
    G. H. Curtiss Manufacturing Company (Founder & President, 1902-08)
    Western Union Messenger (1893-95)
    Kodak Factory worker (1892-93)
    Appendectomy (died from complications)
    Risk Factors: Appendicitis

Author of books:
The Curtiss Aviation Book (1912)

Appears on postage stamps:
USA, Scott #C99 (28, depicting Curtiss with biplane, issued 30-Dec-1980)

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