Best Known For
Wilbur Wright is best known for developing the first successful airplane with his brother, Orville.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
An extraordinary achievement, Wilbur flew the plane for 59 seconds at 852 feet.
The Wright brothers soon found that their success was not appreciated by all. Many in the press, as well as fellow flight experts, were reluctant to believe the brothers' claims at all. As a result, Wilbur set out for Europe in 1908, where he hoped he would have more success convincing the public and selling airplanes.
In France, Wilbur found a much more receptive audience. There, he made many public flights and gave rides to officials, journalists and statesmen. In 1909, Orville joined his brother in Europe, as did their younger sister, Katherine. The Wrights became huge celebrities there, hosted by royals and heads of state, and constantly featured in the press. The Wrights began to sell their airplanes in Europe, and then returned to the United States in 1909.
The brothers went on to become wealthy businessmen, filling contracts for airplanes in both Europe and the United States. Today, the Wright brothers are considered the "fathers of modern aviation."
Wilbur and Orville always took shared credit for their innovations, and maintained a close relationship throughout their lives. Behind the scenes, however, there was a division of labor. With his sharp instincts, Wilbur was the business mind and executive of the operation, serving as president of the Wright company.
Wilbur Wright fell ill on a trip to Boston in April 1912. Afte being diagnosed with typhoid fever, he died on May 30, 1912, at his family home in Dayton, Ohio.
Milton Wright wrote later about his son in his diary: "A short life, full of consequences. An unfailing intellect, imperturbable temper, great self-reliance and as great modesty, seeing the right clearly, pursuing it steadfastly, he lived and died."
© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Wilbur Wright profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Born four years apart, brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright grew up in a small town in Ohio. They shared an intellectual curiosity and an aptitude for science, at a time when the possibility of human flight was beginning to look like a reality. Together, the Wright brothers developed the first successful airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina—and together they became national heroes. Considered the fathers of modern aviation, they developed innovative technology and inspired imaginations around the world.
The Wright Brothers 2 people in this group
Famous Arians 564 people in this group
Everyday life is constantly changing and improving thanks to the ingenious ideas of famous inventors past and present. What once seemed impossible is now possible, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s forward-thinking concepts for flying machines (airplanes), Benjamin Franklin’s useful inventions like bifocals and the lightning rod, and Alexander Graham Bell’s revolutionary “talking machine” (telephone).
The modern era has also produced life-changing advancements whether in science, medicine, the arts, digital media. Music-makers can thank Les Paul for his amazing guitars, while Elon Musk launched the world's first commercial space ship, Steve Jobs' Apple products have made technology beautiful, and Sergey Brin and Larry Page's Google has changed how the world searches for information. These and so many other famous inventors and their creations changed the course of human history. See all inventors.
Famous Inventors 119 people in this group