Matt's character, determination and work ethic were characteristics derived from those who were influential in his life. Education through association, curiosity, reading of good books, and interest in all things, was encouraged by parents, family members, teachers, pastors, and mentors. All left indelible impressions which sustained him for a lifetime.
One of Matt's most significant influences was his Aunt Virginia. who was not only a teacher but a walking and talking encyclopedia. She was an avid crossword puzzle fan as was her nephew Matt.
Buck Rogers / Flash Gordon / Amazing stories
Matt read and studied every "Buck Rogers" episode since the
strip first appeared in the comics in 1929. Although familiar with the
writings of Jules Verne "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and H.G. Wells "The
War of the Worlds", the Buck Rogers strip excited his imagination. Likewise,
in 1934, Flash Gordon appeared in the comic strips with incredible tales of
adventure in space. Matt's interest in science fiction was second only to his
fascination with aviation.
Amazing Stories magazine, sometimes retitled Amazing Science Fiction, was first published in April 1926 in New York City, thereby becoming the first magazine devoted exclusively to publishing stories in the genre presently known as science fiction . It is regarded as the world's first science fiction magazine.
1932 1st film: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: An Interplanetary Battle with the Tiger Men of Mars.
"Model Building Builds Model Boys" A phrase coined by a hobbycraft publisher and supplier has a ring of truth to it. Model building has directed youthful energy into constructive channels for millions of young people. Matt carried the hobby to a higher level by going beyond the mere assembly of precut balsa kits to constructing models from scratch. His attention to detail in the shaping and integrity of components contributed to models which were aerodynamically superior. They flew higher, remained aloft longer and survived crash landings with a minimum of damage. First flight of the Wright Flyer I, 17 December 1903, Orville piloting, Wilbur running at wingtip. Photo by John T. Daniels of the Kill Devil Hills Life Saving Station, using Orville's tripod-mounted camera
Wright State University, Dayton, OH is the repository of Matt's entire
collection of aviation photos, drawings and related papers. The collection
comprises over 10,000 items. The University's archives also contain the Wright
Germany's LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin pictured at the right along with her sister ship LZ 129 Hindenburg were the largest rigid aircraft ever built. During its second year of service, the Hindenburg went up in flames and was destroyed while landing at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey, on 6 May 1937. Thirty-six people died in the accident which was widely reported by film, photography and radio media.
As a young boy, Matt saw the Graf Zeppelin fly overhead. These airships were so large and so filled the sky, it seemed like you could reach up and touch them.
A BOND MADE IN HEAVEN - Matt Jefferies, a pilot, aviation artist and historian, and a man of high moral character, found the perfect match in Mary Ann, a secretary, homemaker, organizer and devoted wife. Her patience, encouragement and love provided Matt with an atmosphere of contentment which allowed him to perfect his talents as an artist and aviation enthusiast. Matt is quoted as saying "Without Mary Ann I could never have accomplished my lifelong dreams."