Steve Fossett: UP, UP, and AWAY

STEVE FOSSETT: Courtesy of www.shoutinggrounds.comSteve Fossett: UP, UP, and AWAY   

Steve Fossett lived for adventure.  He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, swam the English Channel, participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans car race, and participated in the 1992 Iditarod dog sled race.  He set records in sailboats, hot air balloons, gliders, jets, and other extreme sports.  Perhaps his most memorable record breaking adventure came in 2002, when he became the first person to circle the globe solo in a balloon. It took Fossett approximately 15 days to make the voyage.  But, five years later, Fossett’s record breaking adventures came to a tragic end. 

On September 3, 2007, Fossett took off for a short leisure flight from a private Nevada airstrip and was never heard from again.  Despite an extensive search involving thousands of volunteers and officials, Fossett’s plane wasn’t found and he was declared dead on February 15, 2008. 

Almost a year later, a hiker reported finding some of Fossett’s personal belongings in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Searches resumed for Fossett.  A few days later, the crash site was discovered, along with human remains.  The craft appeared to have hit the mountainside head on.  On November 3, 2008, tests conducted on two bones recovered from the crash site proved to match Fossett’s DNA.  Photo courtesy of      


  • “Steve” was born James Stephen Fossett on April 22, 1944 in Jackson, Tennessee
  • During his solo balloon trip around the world, Fossett averaged only 4 hours of sleep a day, in a sleeping bag.
  • Fossett made his fortune in American financial markets with his brokerage companies Lakota Trading, Inc. and Marathon Securities, Inc.  
  • In 2006, Fossett completed the longest nonstop, solo flight in history, flying for 26,389 miles in 76 hours.