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Jerrie Cobb, a native of Oklahoma, learned to fly at age 12. She worked at small county airports after school and weekends to gain flying experience and learn aircraft mechanics. At age 18, she became a professional pilot whose jobs included pipeline patrol flying, charter flying, flight instruction, crop dusting and ground school instruction. Jerrie worked as an international ferry pilot delivering USAF military fighters and bombers to countries around the world in her early 20s. She later set four world aviation records for speed and distance, and two for altitude. Jerrie was selected in 1959 as the first woman to undergo astronaut selection tests. She passed all three phases of the grueling tests, but was not allowed to fly into space because of her gender. She received many awards and honors including the Amelia Earhart Gold Medal of Achievement, Pilot of the Year by the National Pilots Association, Captain of Achievement by the International Academy of Achievement and the Bishop Wright Air Industry Award for "humanitarian contributions to modem aviation." She also was awarded the Harmon Trophy as the world's best woman pilot by President Nixon at age 42.
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