Emory Conrad Malick who was born December 29, 1881 and died January 23, 1959 was acclaimed as the “the First Licensed Black Aviator.”
In March 2011, an article published in the Air & Space/Smithsonian touched off on a controversy whether there was anyone Black aviator before Malick but none was proved to have existed.
Malick was an early graduate of the Curtiss Flying School, where he earned his International Pilot’s License (FAI #105) on March 20, 1912.
The first record of Emory Malick’s interest in aviation is July 22, 1911 when Emory is recorded as building a biplane in Seven Points, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, where he would be attempting a flight that afternoon.
Reports confirmed that his first successful flight in an engine-powered “aeroplane” was on July 24, 1911 and he sought more formal flying training and in January 1912, Emory C. Malick of Philadelphia was enrolled in the Curtiss Aviation School in San Diego, California.
He passed his flying test on 20 March 1912, and was awarded his international FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) license #105 at the school, issued by the Aero Club of America.
Malick was now the first known licensed black pilot in the world.
Glenn Curtiss declared him to be one of “the best flyers ever turned out by this school.”
Chief Charles Alfred Anderson, Chief Flight Instructor for the famed Tuskegee Airmen, later declared in an interview that Mr. Malick was, indeed, our first licensed black pilot.