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Richard DuRose Biography

Richard DuRose lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina, where he retired after a career as a corporate trial lawyer, with his wife Nancy and their cat, Mary Margaret.

The bulk of his career was spent with Foley & Lardner, a nation-wide law firm. DuRose specialized in employment law, and handled cases in 37 of the 50 states.  He was named as one of the Best Lawyers in America under labor and employment law, and chosen for mention in Who’s Who in American Law.

Drawn to Western North Carolina by the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, he enjoys hiking with the High Country Hikers, and golfing with friends.

Until 2007, he had only a passing interest in the history of aviation.  Everything changed when DuRose opened a big box of photographs, newspaper articles, and other memorabilia relating to Mildred Doran, his mother’s older sister.  The contents of that box gave him an inside look at Aviation’s Golden Age.  He had inherited the material from his mother, but had not given it more than short shrift before retirement.  Like Amelia Earhart, Mildred was lost over the Pacific in an air race.  But, Mildred’s tragic end came ten years earlier in 1927.  

How the 22 year old Mildred, a school teacher from Flint, Michigan had gotten involved as the only woman in the Dole Race from Oakland to Honolulu was a part of the history of air flight that had been largely lost. Coming on the heels of Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic, the press had a field day following Mildred’s every stop on her way from Flint to California.   At first, DuRose wanted only to preserve the story for the family.  But, when  the Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine accepted a short article in 2011 about Mildred, many encouraged him to write a book.  As a result, Shooting Star, The First Attempt By A Woman To Reach Hawaii By Air was published.

During the course of his research into the Dole Race, DuRose noticed the other flights that year, starting with Lindbergh in May and ending with the tragic flight of Frances Grayson in late December. There were 27 attempts to cross the oceans in 1927 and the individuals involved were a who’s who of aviation, including some colorful characters. There were triumphant successes as well as fatal failures. But, the spirit of those involved was admirable, and DuRose came away with the belief that their fascinating stories had to be told. As a result, after two additional years of research, including visits to the archives of the Air Force Museum, The International Women’s Air & Space Museum, and the review of hundreds of contemporary news accounts, '1927, A Brilliant Year in Aviation' was born.

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