Bessie Coleman was one of 13 children, and she died in an airplane crash at the age of 34. According to Biography.com, Coleman was born in Atlanta, Texas, on Jan. 26, 1892, to Susan and George Coleman, both of whom were sharecroppers.
Coleman became the first African-American woman to earn a pilot's license, and she specialized in parachuting and stunt flying. She made a career of performing at air shows and barnstorming. Coleman was scheduled to perform on May 1, 1926, at a Jacksonville Negro Welfare League benefit exhibition. While on a trial flight with pilot William D. Wills on April 30, 1926, the plane went down, and both Coleman and Wills were killed.