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Marion "Babe" Weyant Ruth

Marion Weyant Ruth

1918-2004

Marion "Babe" Weyant Ruth was born in Lansing, Michigan on February 7, 1918. As a pioneer woman aviator, she recorded as well as participated in Michigan's rich aviation history.

As a young girl, Ruth became well known around Capital City Airport. At the age of 13, she took her first ride in a WACO Taperwing. Urged on by a letter from Amelia Earhart, Ruth began flying lessons at the age of 16 and soon became known for her flying skills. During World War II, she was one of the few civilian women selected to teach instrument flying to military pilots using the legendary Link Trainer. Ruth celebrated her 50th anniversary of receiving her pilot's license, having amassed over 10,000 hours in the air and having taught hundreds of students to fly.

Numerous honors have been bestowed upon Ruth, including the International Flying Farmer Piper Award for Women-Most Honors, presented by W.T. Piper. In addition, the OX-5 Club of America named her a "Pioneer Woman Pilot" and the Smithsonian Institution included her in "Women in Aviation."

Ruth was not only one of Michigan's aviation pioneers; she was also recognized as an aviation historian. Through her efforts, Michigan's aviation history has been recorded for the benefit of future generations.
Ruth was enshrined on October 14, 1988 for her contributions to aviation as a pioneer woman aviator and aviation historian.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program