Dorothy Layne McIntyre
National Visionary

Born on January 27, 1917 in LeRoy, New York

First African American woman (and maybe the first woman) to earn a civilian pilot's license under the Civil Aeronautics Authority

In 1949, at the age of 22, Dorothy Layne McIntyre became the first African-American woman to earn a pilot's license under the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA). Although she was the second woman accepted into the program, McIntyre completed the necessary training first and received her license one day earlier than her colleague.

Dorothy Layne McIntyre was born on January 27, 1917 in LeRoy, New York to Lena Hart Layne and Clyde Edward Layne. When McIntyre was young, her mother passed away, leaving Dorothy and her younger sister, Ruth, to be raised by their father. The two girls lived with their grandparents until their father remarried Mae Alexander (together, the new couple had a son, Clyde Edward.) Growing up in what McIntyre described as an area that "wasn't as segregated as the South," she would visit air shows in LeRoy which began her love for flying and aviation.

McIntyre graduated from LeRoy High School in 1936 and then attended West Virginia State College in 1939. She earned her pilot's license in 1940 and became the first woman to get licensed through the training program started at West Virginia State College.

After college, McIntyre moved to Cleveland, Ohio to work as a bookkeeper for a black-owned company. In Cleveland, McIntyre met and married Francis Benjamin McIntyre.   McIntyre then moved to Baltimore to live with her sister and began teaching aircraft mechanics at the War Production Training Scholl No. 453 in Baltimore, while working full-time as a secretary for the Baltimore Urban League.

In 1994, McIntyre was awarded the Bessie Coleman Award; in 2001 she was recognized by the International Women's Air and Space Museum at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Ohio. She was also inducted into the Cleveland Educators and Alumni Hall of Fame, and received a proclamation from Tuskegee Airmen North Coast Chapter 17 in 2002.

McIntyre has two daughters, Dianne and Donna. Her husband passed away in 2005. She currently makes a few appearances at functions and gives informal, impromptu speeches.

McIntyre was a pioneer in the field of aviation for women and African Americans, and received numerous honors for her achievements, including; she is a member of the Tuskegee Airman's Alumni Association, and she is profiled in the book Distinguished African Americans in Aviation and Space Science , published in 2001.


AvStop Online Magazine Article

Lee Archer Visionary Page (Tuskegee Airman)

URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/mcintyredorothy