(1871 - 1948)
Impulsive and Optimistic
More impulsive than his contemplative, thoughtful
older brother, Orville had boundless curiosity and energetically
pursued a range of interests. His mind was quick, and he was
always coming up with new inventions. While pursuing the airplane
was initially Wilbur’s idea, Orville’s enthusiasm
and optimism were often what carried them through to solutions
of difficult technical problems.
A Born Inventor
Orville showed an interest in technology and
science early in life. He was always performing experiments
and dismantling things to find out how they worked. He fit
the stereotype of the budding inventor far more than Wilbur.
A Restless Student
Orville was as bright as his brother, but
he could be mischievous in the classroom and did not always
apply himself fully. His work habits improved in high school.
But instead of following the prescribed junior-year curriculum,
he opted for a series of advanced college preparatory courses.
As a result, he would not qualify for his high school degree
at the end of his senior year, so he decided not to attend
school that term. He never graduated.