Amelia Mary Earhart (/ˈɛərhɑːrt/, born July 24, 1897; disappeared July 2, 1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author. [Note 1] Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. [Note 2] She received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross for this accomplishment. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. In 1935, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University as an advisor to aeronautical engineering and a career counselor to women students. She was also a member of the National Woman's Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.