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Meet Carole Hopson

Pilot. Author. Speaker.

Carole Hopson flies the Boeing 737 for United Airlines as a Captain based in Newark, New Jersey. She flew for ExpressJet Airlines before joining United. After successful and varied careers as a journalist and as an executive, she followed her dream to become a pilot and to share that passion with others as a flight instructor––all while raising a family. She and her husband Michael, make their home in Jersey City, NJ with two teenage sons.

Carole’s undergraduate work at the University of Virginia, followed by earning her Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, set her firmly on the path of her early love—journalism. Her first job in the field was as a stringer for The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Tribune, and after moving to New Jersey she joined the Bergen Record as a police reporter. 

From journalism, Carole moved on to a variety of executive positions in the corporate world, first at the National Football League, then as Vice President/Director of Training and Development at Foot Locker, and later as the Director of Human Resources for Supply Chain Operations at L’Oreal.


Despite achieving success in these varied fields, Carole still yearned to pursue her childhood passion. So at the peak of her corporate accomplishments, Carole walked away from executive-level positions in order to learn to fly. 

Today, Carole continues to share her moving personal story to youth and professionals of all levels who are looking to find their own pair of wings. 

Author Interview: Carole Hopson A PAIR OF WINGS

Author Interview: Carole Hopson A PAIR OF WINGS

I was thrilled to talk with pilot and author Carole Hopson about her gorgeous historical fiction A Pair of Wings about the life of pioneering Aviatrix, Bessie Coleman. Already an Oprah Daily best pick for July 2021, A Pair of Wings is so inspiring and so incredibly well done, it feels as if Carole was hand-picked by the universe to deliver Bessie’s story. As she shares in our interview, she provided the ‘glue’ to hold the biographical facts together with her fictional drawing of Bessie’s interpersonal relationships and emotions, making this feel like a deeply personal memoir. Her exhaustive research is evident throughout the book, to include walking the nine-mile route that Bessie traveled daily, on-foot, to and from her flight school in France to achieve her ambitious dream of flight. I have been so inspired and fascinated reading about our many women aviation pioneers, but Bessie stands apart with her incredible determination and defiance of every social norm and expectation of her day, not only related to gender, but also race. Carole very skillfully and thoroughly places Bessie in the full context of her times—both within the dawn of aviation and the Great Migration of Blacks from the rural South to the North and West. The characters’ voices ring true and distinct, the descriptions are vivid, and the history cleverly woven through newspapers—"the social media of the time”—and Bessie’s active engagement in the world. On top of all of the wonderful things I feel about this story, I have to gush about Carole and her vision for this book contributing to a larger mission. Carole is working to raise funds for her One Hundred Pairs of Wings initiative, which will launch this November with a goal of sending 100 Black women through flight training at the Lieutenant Colonel Luke Weathers Junior Flight Academy by the year 2035. This may sound like a small number, but when you consider that there are fewer than 150 licensed Black female pilots in the US, it feels at once achievable and ambitious. 20% of book sales go to support this project. I share Carole’s big vision and very high hopes for this book. I think it has the potential to be wildly successful and that, unlike Carole, who, even as an aspiring Aviatrix didn’t learn about Bessie until she was in her thirties, every American will know who Bessie Coleman is as a result—that she will become both as iconic and as widely-taught as Amelia Earhart—and that especially our young Black women will be inspired to consider joining us in aviation. “It begins with girls believing that they can fly.” Visit her website and the Aviatrix Book Review website for hundreds more books featuring women in aviation and space in all genres for all ages. Follow me on social media @literaryaviatrix
This Black Female Pilot Is on A Mission to Enroll 100 Black women in Flight School by 2035

This Black Female Pilot Is on A Mission to Enroll 100 Black women in Flight School by 2035

Carole Hopson became a pilot at the age of 36, when she left a career in human resources to go after her dream of flying. Now, at 56, Carole is taking her experience and using it as a tool to help other women and minorities become pilots. She explains her mission to enroll 100 Black women in flight school by 2035 and more in a sit-down with Tamron Hall. Carole also tells us about her book, “A Pair of Wings.” #TamronHallShow #TamronHall    Subscribe to Tamron Hall Show:   FIND YOUR TIME AND CHANNEL: [Put in your zip code in the top portion of the website]   FOLLOW US: Instagram: Twitter: Facebook: Pinterest:   JOIN OUR SHOW:   From the deeply moving to the purely fun, “Tamron Hall” is a daily destination for all things topical and a platform for viewers to connect with the people who are shaping our world through meaningful, engaging, and entertaining conversations. As a new mom, a newlywed, and a survivor who is proving you can accomplish anything at any age, Tamron Hall brings a refreshing, relatable, unpredictable, and unstoppable voice to television.   Broadcast from New York City featuring a dynamic mix of live and taped shows, “Tamron Hall” airs across the country in national syndication.
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