Deceased , Modern
1944 – 2007
James Stephen “Steve” Fossett was an American businessman, and a record-setting aviator, sailor, and adventurer. • 2007 Held the world record for crossing the Pacific Ocean on PlayStation, which he accomplished on his fourth try
He was the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in a balloon. He made his fortune in the financial services industry, and was best known for many world records, including five nonstop circumnavigations of the Earth: as a long-distance solo balloonist, as a sailor, and as a solo flight fixed-wing aircraft pilot.
A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, Fossett set 116 records in five different sports, 60 of which still stood when he disappeared.
Fossett is considered to have been one of the world’s most accomplished sailors. Speed sailing was his specialty and from 1993 to 2004 he dominated the record sheets, setting 23 official world records and nine distance race records. He is recognized by the World Sailing Speed Record Council as “the world’s most accomplished speed sailor.”
In 2002, Fossett received aviation’s highest award, the Gold Medal of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) and in July 2007, he was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame. In 1997, Fossett was inducted into the Balloon and Airship Hall of Fame. In February 2002, Fossett was named America’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year by the American Sailing Association at the New York Yacht Club. He was the oldest recipient of the award in its 41-year history, and he was the only recipient to fly himself to the ceremony in his own plane.
Accomplishments and Awards
• On the maxi-catamaran Cheyenne (formerly PlayStation), he twice set the 24 Hour Record
• 1997 Inducted into the Balloon and Airship Hall of Fame
• 2001 Set a transatlantic record of 4 days, 17 hours, shattering previous record by over 43 hours
• 2002 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year
• 2004 Set the world record for fastest circumnavigation of the world: 58 days, 9 hours
• 2007 Inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame
James Stephen “Steve” Fossett was an American businessman, and a record-setting aviator, sailor, and adventurer.
• 2007 Held the world record for crossing the Pacific Ocean on PlayStation, which he accomplished on his fourth try
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