Born on April 18, 1913, in Barrea, Province L'Aquila Abruzzi, Italy to Salvatore and Maria (Lombardozzi) Campana, Mary Ann Campana immigrated to the United States with her parents at age eight. Raised in Youngstown and educated in the Youngstown Public Schools and Youngstown College, Ms. Campana was a pioneer in Ohio, National, and international aviation. In 1932, at age eighteen, she achieved the distinction of being the first licensed woman pilot in Ohio. On June 4, 1933, with only 44 hours of prior flying time, Mary Ann established the world's endurance record in the Light plane class for a non-refueled flight. Flying above Youngstown in a 500-pound Taylor Cub Plane with a 40-horsepower engine and loaded with 40 gallons of gasoline, she flew for 12 hours and 27 minutes without a parachute, breaking the old record by one hour and ten minutes before electrical storms forced her down.
In addition to her aeronautical accomplishments Mary Ann Campana was also a successful businesswoman, working her way from a sales clerk at the G.C. Murphy Co. 5 & 10 store to vice-president and co-owner of four Pollyanna clothing stores. In 1989, in honor of her achievements, Ms. Campana was conferred Cavaliere of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.