Glenn Hammond Curtiss was the most important figure in the development of naval aviation - if not aviation, period - in the United States. Both a thrill-seeker and a mechanical genius, he began his career as a bicycle maker and then went on to become the world's number-one manufacturer of high-performance motorcycles. In 1903 he became the first American Motorcycle Champion; the following year he earned the title "Fastest Man on Earth" by setting the ten-mile world speed record. Looking for a new challenge, Curtiss began to build lightweight aeronautical motors and propellers, and Alexander Graham Bell convinced him to join his Aerial Experiment Association. Working with AEA, Curtiss designed the "June Bug," which performed the first publicly viewed airplane flight in America. In 1909 he defeated the greatest fliers in the world and won the first airplane race in history, the Gordon Bennett Trophy, for America. Perhaps most important, he convinced the U.S. Navy of the importance of naval aviation. Curtiss' planes performed the first landing on and takeoff from the deck of a ship. Curtiss invented the twin flying boat, which became a mainstay of both American and British navies in WWI. His Curtiss "Jenny" set the standard for WWI aircraft, and his giant NC-4 "Flying Boat" crossed the Atlantic eight years before Charles Lindbergh's celebrated flight. In this classic title, Alden Hatch offers the biography of one of the most influential men in twentieth-century American technology.Hatch, Alden is the author of 'Glenn Curtiss Pioneer of Aviation', published 2007 under ISBN 9781599211459 and ISBN 1599211459.