Amelia Earhart Refused to Go By Her Husband's Name

Caroline Hallemann
Photo credit: Getty

From Town & Country

Surprising no one, Amelia Earhart was a boss in more ways than one.

Back in June of 1932, not long after her first solo transatlantic flight, Earhart took the New York Times to task for refusing to call her by her flying name in print. As was the Times' standard, women were identified by their husbands' last names, and let's just say Earhart wasn't happy about it.

In a letter, which was tweeted out Thursday by Carolyn Ryan, the Masthead Editor at the New York Times, Earhart makes her wishes known that she would not like to be written about as "Mrs. Putnam," but rather, Amelia Earhart.

It's evident that this is not the first time she made the request, but per the Times, writing to publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, was effective; come July of 1932, the paper was back to referring to her as "Miss Earhart."

Read the letter in full, below:

Dear Mr. Sulzberger:

May I make a request of the Times through you? Despite the mild expression of my wishes, and those of G.P.P. [Earhart's husband George Palmer Putnam,], I am constantly referred to as "Mrs. Putnam" when the Times mentions me in its columns.

I admit I have no principle to uphold in asking that I be called by my professional name in print. However, it is for many reasons more convenient for both of us to be simply "Amelia Earhart". After all (here may be a principle) I believe flyers should be permitted the same privileges as writers or actresses.

I have written Mrs. Sulzberger to thank her for sending me the lovely orchids, and here are my thanks to you. It was pleasant, indeed, to be remembered.

Sincerely yours,

Amelia Earhart

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