Harriet’s earliest years were shadowy until the family surfaced in the San Francisco area. Harriet started out as an actress but a talent for writing led her to become a journalist, writing for the San Francisco Bulletin and Chronicle. She moved to New York to work for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly as a drama critic but also filed stories from Cuba, Mexico, Europe, and Egypt. Her writing skills as well as an acquaintance with D. W. Griffith made her one of the first female screenwriters, and she wrote seven films for Griffith. In 1910 Harriet grew interested in aviation and a year later she became the first U.S. woman to receive a pilot’s license. In April 1912 Harriet flew across the English Channel—the first woman to do so. Less than three months later, while flying in a meet outside Boston, Harriet Quimby and her passenger were thrown from the plane to their deaths. .Died: 1912
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