Eugene Luther Vidal, Sr.

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Eugene Luther Vidal, Sr.

Birthplace: Madison, Lake County, South Dakota, United States
Death: Died in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Felix Luther Vidal and Maggie Vidal (Rewalt)
Ex-husband of Nina S. Olds
Father of Gore Vidal
Brother of Lorene M. Vidal and <private> Vidal

Occupation: Athlete, Aviator
Managed by: Noah Gregory Tutak
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Eugene Luther Vidal, Sr.

Eugene Luther "Gene" Vidal (April 13, 1895 – February 20, 1969) was an American athlete and aviation pioneer. He was the father of author Gore Vidal.



   * 1 Athletic highlights
   * 2 Other highlights
   * 3 References
   * 4 External links

[edit] Athletic highlights

Born in Madison, South Dakota, Vidal was a versatile athlete. At the University of South Dakota from 1913 to 1916, Vidal was a football, basketball, baseball and track letterman, and was captain of the 1915 football team and 1916 basketball team, leading the basketball team in scoring in 1915 and 1916 and helping the University to the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference title this year. Vidal transferred to West Point in 1918, where became the captain of the football team.[1]

Gene Vidal is in the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.[2]

Vidal participated in the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games, he finished seventh in the decathlon at Antwerp in 1920. He was the first USD graduate to be on an Olympic Team.[3]

He played for the American Professional Football Association's Washington Senators in 1921.

[edit] Other highlights

In 1922 Vidal married Nina Gore, daughter of Thomas Gore, Democratic senator from Oklahoma.[4] They were divorced in 1935.[5] In 1939 Vidal married Katherine Roberts.[6]

Vidal taught aeronautics at West Point and was one of the first Army Air Corps pilots. He went on to become one of the pioneers in the commercial aviation industry. From 1933 to 1937, Vidal was Director of the Commerce Department's Bureau of Air Commerce and helped found three American airlines during the 1920s–30s; Eastern Airlines, TWA, and Northeast Airlines, along with aviatrix Amelia Earhart (with whom he had a romantic relationship, according to biographer Susan Butler) and Paul Collins. Vidal also formed the New York, Philadelphia, and Washington Airway Corporation, an airline that offered hourly round-trip service between the cities, in 1930. He was also an investor in the Boston and Maine Railroad.

Later in life he served as a director of Northeast Airlines and was an aviation adviser to the Army Chief of Staff.[7]

Vidal is played by actor Ewan McGregor in the 2009 film Amelia, which alludes to his romance with Amelia Earhart.[8]

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Eugene Luther Vidal, Sr.'s Timeline

April 13, 1895
Madison, Lake County, South Dakota, United States
October 3, 1925
Age 30
West Point, New York, United States
February 20, 1969
Age 73
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States