Jacqueline Cochran went from a barefoot, dreamer girl to a driven pilot. She was so poor that she couldn't even afford a pair of shoes until she was 9. She started out working in a barber shop as a 'shampoo girl' and a sweeper, but she knew that it wasn't in her future. She always liked to watch airplanes and dreamt of being a successful pilot. She got a piloting license in 1932 and in 1934 she got into her first race. By 1936 she owned her own cosmetics company. From 1934 to 1939 she competed in pilot races.
In 1939 when the war broke out in Europe she was interested in flying planes in the war. She talked to Eleanor Roosevelt, who supported the idea, but the president denied the request. She had continued to set many men and women's records, win many races, and have many firsts. She was also the president of the 99s, a women's aviation club formed in 1929.
In spirng of 1942 there was a shortage of male pilots so she was approached about teaching women how to pilot. The next September she was appointed Director of Women's Flying Training. The training was successful so once it was finished she became a part of the general army. After the war she was given a U.S. Distinguished service medal and ended up being the first woman to go into Japan after WWII.
After the war she kept flying and set a lot more records. She died August 9, 1980 in Indio, Calfornia. She is still known today as one of the first faces of women aviation.