Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wright Brothers: A Biography” as Want to Read:
The Wright Brothers: A Biography
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wright Brothers: A Biography

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  48 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In this fascinating, highly readable biography, Fred C. Kelly, a former newspaperman, author, and an old friend of the Wrights, tells the story of the two brilliant, dedicated, flight-obsessed bicycle mechanics from Ohio who first realized mankind's age-old dream of conquering the skies. Long considered the definitive Wright biography (the manuscript was read and approved ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 1st 1989 by Dover Publications (first published August 12th 1969)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wright Brothers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Wright Brothers

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 107)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 30, 2015 Dave rated it it was amazing
As a contemporary of the Brothers Wright, Fred C. Kelly wrote the only authorized biography of the Wright Brothers. Originally published in 1943, the final manuscript earned the blessing of Orville Wright.

Kelly brings the sensibilities of a newspaperman in the first half of the 20th century. As a writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and other publications, he covered the exploits of the Wrights. He was also involved in brokering the return of the 1903 Wright Flyer to the Smithsonian in 1949, a
Dec 31, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it
This, now 70 + year old, biography of the Wright brothers is valuable because the author, newspaperman Fred Kelly, was a friend who covered the brothers for years, and was even instrumental in ending the quarrel between Orville and the Smithsonian.

It is written in the style of the journalism of the time period, but because it is the only authorized biography of the brothers, it brings a freshness and closeness that other books, like the recent David McCollough book, do not.

Because Wilbur died at
Jan 06, 2016 Lisa-Michele rated it liked it
Had to read this after the McCullough book. I wanted to read someone who knew the brothers and wrote contemporaneously. The McCullough book seemed a little superficial to me, and the Kelly book a little fawning. But overall the topic captured me. Neither brother ever married or even left home. They were best friends, driving each other to innovate in their tiny Ohio bicycle shop. I would have read their story even if they didn’t invent anything. Both men were brilliant, inquisitive and mechanica ...more
Frank Cahill
Aug 24, 2014 Frank Cahill rated it liked it
The Wright brothers were brilliant engineers and designers. They solved the problems of stability and control that allowed them to develop their aircraft and engine.

Fred Kelly was a close friend, and his major source of information came from Orville. It shows. Much about Wilbur is left out. The first chapter is drudgery for me, but afterward it picks up somewhat to reveal many facts about the brothers and their efforts to prove the success of their invention. It is difficult to grasp just how mu
Dante Ballarin
Sep 13, 2015 Dante Ballarin rated it really liked it
this book was so cool! Its crazy to believe that these brothers changed the world forever. No matter what happened these brothers always never gave up. When the everything failed they never stopped trying. All of there hard work paid off.
Aug 16, 2015 Lindie rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, it had lots of new and good information from a news papers reports view.
Benny King
Apr 30, 2009 Benny King rated it really liked it
I thought this was an excellant book on the beginings of avaiation.A lot of first hand information. I picked it up at the Wright Brothers Historical Site in Kitty Hawk, NC
Oct 31, 2010 Bob rated it liked it
Intresting story about the invention of the airplane. I would have liked a little more about the Wright brothers.

Jul 22, 2012 Ivan rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading stories of people with such inventive minds like the Wright Brothers. A great read.
Feb 07, 2016 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
A complete, official, and highly biased account by Orville.
Lee rated it it was amazing
Apr 30, 2016
Addie added it
Apr 13, 2016
Hyla rated it it was amazing
Mar 20, 2016
Jim marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2016
Steve marked it as to-read
Feb 11, 2016
John marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2016
Paul rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2016
Gerry Scheetz
Gerry Scheetz rated it liked it
Jan 10, 2016
Joseph M.
Joseph M. rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2015
Jerry A Johnson
Jerry A Johnson rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2015
Laura marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2015
Ken Hamner
Ken Hamner rated it liked it
Dec 19, 2015
Dorothy rated it really liked it
Oct 25, 2015
Genie rated it liked it
Oct 21, 2015
Rachel Carter
Rachel Carter marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2015
Rachel Carter
Rachel Carter marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2015
Rachel Carter
Rachel Carter marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2015
Niki Turner
Niki Turner marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Fred C. Kelly studied at the University of Michigan (1900–1902). He began his newspaper career in 1896 as a local correspondent for a small town newspaper and wrote a humor column for The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) for five years. His "Statesmen, Real and Near" column (1910–1918) was the first Washington, D.C. news column to be syndicated. During World War I, Kelly served briefly as special ag ...more
More about Fred C. Kelly...

Share This Book