Eddie Rickenbacker-Race Car Driver On October 8, 1890, Edward Rickenbacker was born in a small house on South Pearl Street in Columbus, Ohio. The second son of Swiss immigrants, Eddie’s family fell on particularly hard times following the death of his father when Eddie was just 13 years old. Eddie left school during the 7th grade, and worked at various jobs throughout Columbus supporting himself, his mother, and six siblings. However, it was the job at Evans Garage on East Chestnut Street that introduced him to the world of automobiles, and would set him on a path that would change his life forever. Rickenbacker’s interest in automobiles evolved into a passion for racing, and soon he was traveling the country participating in various motor races. As a successful and fearless driver, he quickly became a celebrity in the racing community and a household name throughout the country. Click here to return to the Featured World War I Artifacts index.