In 1931, Earhart married newspaper publisher George Putnam who had earlier selected her for the transatlantic crossing with Commander Byrd. Putnam was not well liked in the business because he was considered pushy and a parasite that fed off of the Earhart's fame (2). Their marriage was anything but conventional. Previously, Earhart and been engaged to Sam Chapman, but the engagement fell through. Additionally, Putnam divorced his wife after eighteen years of marriage to marry Earhart. Supposedly, Earhart declined his marrage proposal five times and finally accepted the proposition on the sixth proposal. Though, her acceptance was not rooted in love, but rather she felt as though she needed his support in order for her career to continue to progress (2). As two workaholics, there was no honeymoon and the newly married couple returned to work immediately.
After Earhart's disappearance, her husband was utterly distraught. Putnam refused to leave the coast guard station in San Francisco where he remained in the radio room. He went days without sleep, waiting for the news his wife had been found; unfortunately, it was news that never came. Looking for possibilities about what had happened to his wife, Putnam went over and over sea charts. In addition, he called on navy and coast guard chiefs to request that ships be diverted from the organized search to follow up on his ideas, even offering to pay for additional costs involved in the searches (7). When the government abandoned the search, Putnam still refused give up. Flying to Washington, DC, Putnam badgered anybody who would listen about continuing the search (7). A friend attests to Putnam's relentlessness in the search, "George was a doer. It was impossible for him to retreat into helplessness" (7).
For a long time, Putnam was unable to accept the tragedy. Putnam said, "I feel I have been running away from something I should have faced. Mostly, my days have been filled wth an effort to keep from thinking. The total emptiness is appalling" (7). When Putnam finally faced the truth, he turned his efforts in new directions to keep himself busy. The first of his new projects was a book based on notes Earhart had mailed from various stops during her world flight. Last Flight was published in November 1937. Although the book was not a bestseller, it still boasted strong sales. The second of Putnam's post-disappearance projects was a biography of his wife, Soaring Wings. In the biography, he dug into Earhart's past by writing to friends and relatives for their stories and remembrances of her. This work was particularly influential because it was the basis of all future biographer's work (7). While his wife may have been gone, Putnam's efforts to promote her heroic accomplishments never seized to exist.