Born: 1940, New Mexico
Claim To Fame: First woman FAA inspector (1971)
Wally Funk was something of a flying wiz, graduating as number one from the 24 promising pilots in her class. Funk landed her first aviation job at the age of 20 as a Civilian Flight Instructor for officers of the U.S. Army. At 21, she became interested in being an astronaut. Funk was part of NASA's Mercury 13 Program that qualified 13 women as ready for space travel. However, the final test in the program was never conducted and Mercury 13 was suddenly closed down. Although her dreams of being an astronaut could not be achieved, Funk never gave up on flying. In 1971 Wally Funk completed the FAA General Aviation Operations Inspector Academy course; she was the first woman to do so.