Bonnie Linda Tiburzi
August 31, 1948
|Occupation||Pilot for American Airlines|
|Awards||"Women Making History" Award|
from The National Women's History Museum
Bonnie Tiburzi (born August 31, 1948), is an American aviator. In 1973, at age 24, she became the first female pilot for American Airlines and the first female pilot for a major American commercial airline.
At the same time she also became the first woman in the world to earn a Flight Engineer rating on a turbo-jet aircraft.
Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo was born Bonnie Linda Tiburzi. She was born August 31, 1948 in Connecticut. Her father was a pilot for SAS and later with TWA. After leaving the airline industry August Robert "Gus" Tiburzi owned and operated Tiburzi Airways - a flight school and charter company in Danbury, Connecticut.
Tiburzi began her aviation career flying as a flight instructor and charter pilot. In 1973, at age 24, she became the first female pilot for American Airlines and the first female pilot for a major American commercial airline. She flew as a Captain on the Boeing 727, Boeing 757 and the Boeing 767. In 1986 Tiburzi wrote her autobiography, Takeoff: The Story of America's First Woman Pilot for a Major Airline. She retired from AAL in 1999 after 26 years.
Additional professional activities
Trustee for the College of Aeronautics from 1990 - 2000
Created and produced three "Women of Accomplishment" Award Luncheons for the Wings Club, Inc. in New York City from 1981 to 1983. These events honored woman from various fields of endeavors. Recipients included award winning actress Polly Bergen, racer driver Janet Guthrie, TV anchor woman Jane Paulie, feminist and author Betty Friedan, Rabbi Sally Priesand, actress and spokesperson Maureen O'Hara Blair, Moya Lear of Lear Aircraft Company, Television Workshop's Faith Steward Gordon and opera singer Anna Moffo. Created the "Information Bank" - a networking system for the International Society Of Women Airline Pilots to help further the career of future female pilots. Guest speaker at many schools, colleges, and private clubs including the Federal Aviation Association, the Ninety Nines, the Smithsonian Air&Space Museum and the Wings Club. Trustee and Tennis Chairperson for the Millbrook Golf and Tennis Club from 1999 - 2001. Board Member of a New York Co-op Building in the 1990s
1984 - Autobiography, "Takeoff" published by Crown Publishing Company
1984 - Researched and co-authored a magazine article with Dr. Jonathan Scher about pregnancy and flying
published in Mothers Today Magazine.
Wrote the Pilots Guide to a Perfect Plane Ride for Woman's Day Magazine
Featured on Working Woman Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, Reader's Digest, Gold Coast Pictorial, Good Housekeeping,
Women's Wear Daily, Vogue, Woman's Day and the Smithsonian Air&Space Magazine.
Appeared in books by Henry Holden, Captain Robert Buck, John M. Capozzi, Lisa Yount and Carole S. Briggs - list incomplete.
American Way Magazine 2001 and 2015
Awards and recognition
1974 - Tiburzi received the Amita Award honoring Italian-American Women of Achievement
1979 - Recognized as a "Super Sister" and placed on Super Sster Trading Cards. These trading cards were distributed to
school age children nationwide.
1980 - Received the "Amela Earhart Award" by the Northeast Chapter of Airport Managers
1982 - Featured in the Cutty Sark Salute to "Here's to Those Who Fly in the Face of Tradition" add campaign.
1984 - Recipient of the "Women of Accomplishment Award" by the Wings Club of New York City.
1985 - Recipient of the Zonta Club of New York's "Non-Stop Achievement Award"
1987 - Selected by Woman's Day Magazine as one of "50 Women Wo Have Changed Our Lives"
1998 - Recipient of the "Women Making History Award" from the National Museum of Women's history in Washington, D.C.
In 2018, the Independent Spirit Awards inaugurated the Bonnie Award, named after Tiburzi, which "recognizes a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant sponsored by American Airlines." Chloé Zhao was the first to receive this award.
Tiburzi's American Airlines pilot uniform is on display at the Smithsonian Air&Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
- Yount, Lisa (1995). ""Tiburzi, Bonnie" Women Aviators. New York: Facts On File, Inc". American Women's History Online. Facts On File, Inc. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- Halloran, David (February 2015). "The last word. June 1973: With flying colors". American Way (American Airlines Magazine). United States.
- Commire, Anne; Klezmer, Deborah, eds. (2002). "Tiburzi, Bonnie (1948–)". Women in world history: a biographical encyclopedia. Waterford, Connecticut: Yorkin Publications. ISBN 9780787637361. (Subscription required (help)).
- Independent, Film. "2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners Announced". www.prnewswire.com.
- "Bonnie Tiburzi: In Control". Harper's Bazaar. United States. January 1973.
- Tiburzi, Bonnie (2010). TAKEOFF!: the story of America's first woman pilot for a major airline. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 9781451515770.
- Holden, Henry M.; Griffith, Lori (1991). Ladybirds: the untold story of women pilots in America. Freedom, New Jersey: Black Hawk Publishing Co. ISBN 9781879630116. (5 pages) Online excerpt.
- Holden, Henry. Great women in aviation #2 – Capt. Bonnie Tiburzi – First women pilot hired by a major airline. Freedom, New Jersey: Black Hawk Publishing Co.
- June Douglas (pilot) Unknown (moderator) Philip Quarles (archivist) (May 1965). WYNC archive recording [Girls who fly: 1965 Angel Derby pilots are told sexism doesn't exist] (Audio). Yanceyville, North Carolina: NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project
- Buck, Bob (2005), "Records", in Buck, Bob, North star over my shoulder: a flying life, New York, New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, pp. 58–60, ISBN 9780743262309.
- Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo's Buzz – Personal blog.