Southern (1896-1991) was the woman who taught the famous Amelia Earhart how to
fly. She was the first woman aviator in Iowa, and the first female aviator to
run her own aviation business.
She had difficulties finding an aviation school that
would accept her as a student, on account of her gender, but in the end she
graduated from the Curtis-Wright Aviation School. She worked as a mechanic
during WWII, inspecting and testing combat airplanes. In 1921, she was the
first woman to enter a men’s air race.