Wiley Post Avenue

Wiley Hardeman Post (1898-1935) was the first person to fly around the world solo, which he did over seven days in 1933. Born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, Post had a wild youth, staging a series of armed robberies until he was arrested in 1921 and spent a year in jail. He then worked as a roughneck on the Oklahoma oil fields, where he lost his left eye in a 1926 accident. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Post used the settlement money to buy himself an airplane; he was a professional pilot by 1928. (He even flew out of Santa Monica’s Clover Field.) After his historic round-the-world trip, Post pioneered high-altitude flights, and in the process developed the first pressurized pilot suit (the forerunner to the spacesuit). It was inevitable that he would befriend fellow Oklahoman and air travel proponent Will Rogers. Sadly, the two were killed in Alaska when a plane piloted by Post crashed shortly after takeoff. Wiley Post Avenue was named in 1941.