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Born on July 3, 1913 in Chicago, Illinois, Dorothy Kilgallen was destined for a career in journalism. With her father employed as a reporter for the International News Service, Dorothy followed in his footsteps to become a top reporter for the New York Evening Journal. At the age of 23, her fame and popularity grew when she participated in a race around the world. She and two other reporters (Leo Kieran and H. R. Ekins) from competing newspapers rushed around the world in an effort to shatter previous world records and to become some of the first passengers to traverse the Pacific on the China Clipper. Being the only female participating in the race, Kilgallen attracted international attention as she traversed the globe. She reported her adventures daily through the New York Evening Journal. Her route took her from New York to Germany (via the Hindenburg) to Rome to Hong Kong to Manila to Hawaii to San Francisco and finally back to New York. She ultimately came in second in the race, completing her around the world journey in 24 days. Often referred to as a "modern day Nellie Bly", Kilgallen was regularly mentioned on the front page of the New York Evening Journal throughout the duration of this race. Following this venture, Kilgallen wrote an autobiography (Girl Around the World) and a fictional screenplay (Fly Away Baby) both focused on her experiences with world travel. She died on November 8, 1965.




Kilgallen, Dorothy, 1913-1965.


bulk 1936-1937


Unknown, no information in Archives or Registrar's records., Gift, Unknown


0.23 Cubic feet ((1 box))

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of New York Evening Journal clippings from 13 different days throughout the month of October, 1936. Although the numerous articles found throughout these clippings all focus on the subject of Kilgallen's journey around the world, the authorship varies. The articles include first hand accounts written by Kilgallen and articles written by her journalist father, James Kilgallen. Also found throughout the clippings are other various reports on her travels including advice from other travelers and a plea for anyone to give up their airplane seat to Kilgallen in an effort to expedite her journey. Here in detail are recorded all of the glitches and problems encountered throughout this expedition, as well as interviews with Kilgallen's family. Also included is a comic by Kilgallen done as an advertisement for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company published on June 17, 1937.


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Dorothy Kilgallen Newspaper Articles, Accession XXXX-0758, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.



Airplane racing

Aeronautics -- Competitions

Aeronautics -- Flights

Martin (Glenn L.) Model 130 China Clipper, Military Service



Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Newspaper clippings