A race-car driver, he served in France during World War I as chauffeur for Gen. Pershing. With Germany’s Red Baron dominating the skies, he transferred to the 94th Aero Squadron, which shot down 69 enemy aircraft and earned him the Congressional Medal. His name was “Eddie” Rickenbacker, born this day, Oct. 8, 1890. In his book, “The Flying Circus,” Rickenbacker recounts escaping death: “I am not such an egotist as to believe that God has spared me because I am I. I believe there is work for me to do and that I am spared to do it, just as you are.”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.