In 1929, Anne Spencer Morrow, a 23-year-old introverted intellectual, married a man who was, at the time, arguably the most celebrated person in the world. He was Charles Lindbergh, and his incredible solo flight over the Atlantic in 1927 had catapulted him to a wild level of fame.
It was Charles Lindbergh, decades before Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana, whose fame first gave rise to packs of news photographers. They followed the Lindberghs everywhere. When the Lindberghs' infant son Charles Jr. was kidnapped in1932 , the press paid frenzied attention to the crime; the story remained in the headlines for months.
Among the many heartbreaking artifacts that remain from the kidnapping is a front-page item in The New York Times from March 3, 1932: It's a brief notice, stating that the baby had been ill: "In the hope that whoever has taken the baby may see and understand the necessity for care, Mrs. Lindbergh...gave out the diet she had been following." It included -- underscoring a young mother's anguish in the most painful conceivable way -- "half a cup of orange juice on waking."
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Anne became both an aviator and a writer, and her book, Gift From the Sea, has sold some 3 million copies since it was first published in 1955.
Katie talks with Anne's youngest child, Reeve Lindbergh, also a writer. In her 2018 memoir, Two Lives, Reeve reflected on her own “Two Lives,” navigating her role as the public face of her family while, at the same time, leading a quiet existence in rural Vermont.
Charles Lindbergh was a complicated man. Historians have documented his respect for the Nazis in prewar Germany. And in 2003, it was revealed that he had led a double life, having had a years-long affair with a woman in Germany with whom he had three children.
But that isn't what Katie wanted to talk to Reeve Lindbergh about. In the blog post that accompanies this episode, Katie writes about her reasons for not asking Reeve about her father's other families. It can be found on the podcast's website. Here's the blog post.
Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBallah)
Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry
Producer: Alice Hudson
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