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Remembering Kitty O'Neil: The Fastest Woman in the World

Kitty O'Neil, Kitty O'Neil, stuntwoman, land speed record, disability, motivation, legacy
Remembering Kitty ONeil The Fastest Woman in the World

Remembering Kitty O'Neil: The Fastest Woman in the World

Kitty O'Neil was a deaf American stunt performer who made history by becoming the fastest woman in the world. On her 77th birth anniversary, Google commemorated her life and legacy with a doodle. Let's take a closer look at her incredible journey.

Early Life and Career

Kitty O'Neil was born on March 24, 1946, in Corpus Christi, Texas. At the age of five months, she contracted measles, mumps, and smallpox, which resulted in her being deaf. Despite her hearing impairment, Kitty refused to let it hold her back in life.

In her youth, Kitty was an avid swimmer and eventually became a competitive diver. However, after a tragic diving accident that left her with a broken back, she was forced to end her diving career. She then went on to become a dental assistant, but her passion for adventure and thrill-seeking drove her towards a new path.

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Career as a Stuntwoman

Kitty's career as a stuntwoman began when she met legendary stuntman Hal Needham. She started as a stunt double for Susan Dey in the television series "The Partridge Family" and later went on to perform stunts in numerous films, including "Airport 1975", "The Blues Brothers", and "Smokey and the Bandit II".

Kitty's fearlessness and talent as a stuntwoman earned her a reputation as one of the best in the industry. She was known for her willingness to perform dangerous stunts without any hesitation. Some of her most notable stunts include a 127-foot freefall from a hotel in "The Eiger Sanction" and a 250-foot car jump in "Hooper".

Fastest Woman in the World

In 1976, Kitty set her sights on a new goal: breaking the land speed record for a woman. She drove a hydrogen peroxide-fueled rocket-powered vehicle called the "SMI Motivator" at the Alvord Desert in Oregon, where she reached a top speed of 512 mph, making her the fastest woman in the world.

However, Kitty's record was not officially recognized by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) due to the vehicle's lack of wheels. Nevertheless, her achievement remains a testament to her courage and determination.

Later Life and Legacy

After her record-breaking achievement, Kitty continued to work in the entertainment industry as a stuntwoman, but she also became a motivational speaker and advocate for people with disabilities. She used her platform to inspire others to pursue their dreams and break down barriers.

Kitty passed away on November 2, 2018, at the age of 72 due to pneumonia. However, her legacy lives on as a trailblazer for women and people with disabilities in the stunt industry.

Kitty O'Neil was a remarkable woman who defied the odds and achieved greatness despite the challenges she faced. Her fearless spirit and determination inspired many, and her legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.

Keywords: Kitty O'Neil, stuntwoman, land speed record, disability, motivation, legacy.

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