Dr. Tom Crouch

Dr. Tom Crouch, Emeritus Curator Smithsonian Air & Space
Dr. Thomas Crouch
Curator Emeritus, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

Topic: After the Wright Brothers: The Aerospace Heroes Honored in the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine

Bio: Dr. Crouch has won a number of major writing awards, including the history book prizes offered by both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Aviation/Space Writers Association. He received a 1989 Christopher Award, a literary prize recognizing “significant artistic achievement in support of the highest values of the human spirit,” for The Bishop’s Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright. His book, Wings: A History of Aviation From Kites to the Space Age, won the AIAA Gardner-Lasser Literature Prize for 2005, an award presented to the best book selected in that year from all books in the field of aerospace history published in the last five years.

Tom Crouch is the author or editor of a number of books and many articles for both popular magazines and scholarly journals. These include: The Bishop’s Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright (New York: W.W. Norton, 1989); Eagle Aloft: Two Centuries of the Balloon in America (Washington, D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983); Wings: A History of Aviation from Kites to the Space Age (NY: W.W. Norton, 2003); A Dream of Wings: Americans and the Airplane, 1875-1905 (New York: W.W. Norton, Inc., 1981); Bleriot XI: The Story of a Classic Airplane (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982); Rocketeers and Gentlemen Engineers (Reston, Va: AIAA, 2006), and Lighter-Than-Air: An Illustrated History of Balloons and Airships (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).

Throughout his career, Dr. Crouch has played a major role in planning museum exhibitions. He was involved in planning exhibitions for the Neil Armstrong Museum, Wapakoneta, Ohio; the Ohio Historical Center, Columbus, Ohio; the National Air and Space Museum; the National Museum of American History; and the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum.

In the fall of 2000, President Clinton appointed Dr. Crouch to the Chairmanship of the First Flight Centennial Federal Advisory Board, an organization created to advise the Centennial of Flight Commission on activities planned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of powered flight

(Courtesy of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)