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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, in Destined to Fly: The Story of Pilot Ron Strauss – From Iowa to Elvis, Sally A. Hoedel retraces the life of a boy from Iowa who grew up to be the pilot of Elvis Presely’s plane.

Destined To Fly: The Story Of Pilot Ron Strauss – From Iowa To Elvis

In Destined to Fly: The Story of Pilot Ron Strauss – From Iowa to Elvis, noted Elvis historian and journalist Sally Hoedel retraces the life of Ron Strauss, an ordinary boy from Iowa, who becomes a pilot on one of the most famous airplanes in existence, Elvis Presley’s 880 Convair, the Lisa Marie.

From childhood, Strauss wanted to work in aviation. Je served 12 years in the United States Air Force, serving as a flight engineer, and flew 3,400 hours during the Vietnam War, departing California with supplies and returning with fallen soldiers. As a pilot, he was instrumental in peacefully resolving a hijacking conflict involving General Somoza in Nicaragua in 1974. One of the political prisoners who Strauss flew to Cuba during that ordeal is now the president of Nicaragua.

Destined To Fly: The Story Of Pilot Ron Strauss – From Iowa To Elvis on The Table Read
Destined To Fly: The Story Of Pilot Ron Strauss – From Iowa To Elvis

Later, after a series of serendipitous events, and one stressful interview with Vernon Presley, Ron Strauss landed a job as a pilot on Elvis’ plane from 1975 until Elvis’ passing in 1977.

Elvis Presley

In Destined to Fly, you’ll find a personal glimpse of Elvis during the busiest touring years of his career, with never-before-seen photos from inside the famous airplane. In the appendix of the book, you’ll find an incredible historical document as Strauss’ flight log is a complete record of where Elvis traveled aboard the Lisa Marie, printed in its entirety for the first time ever.

“Ron Strauss certainly cannot be reduced to the nearly two years he flew Elvis Presley,” said Sally Hoedel. “His story is more vast than that short period. However, the book does capture Elvis Presley as a boss and a leader within a very unique organization. Elvis fans will walk away with new information about the Lisa Marie and what it was like to be called up in the middle of the night for an unscheduled destination at the request of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

Ron Strauss

Hoedel examines eight decades of Strauss’ journey, exploring the roots of his character and the hard work and perseverance that went into his successful career in aviation.

“This story is a slice of Americana,” she explained. “It has a little John Wayne, a little Ronald Reagan and some Elvis. I think there’s something for everyone, and there are some great lessons along the way.”

In the years before Strauss agreed to share his life story with her, Sallly Hoedel forged a close friendship with Ron Strauss.

Sally A. Hoedel on The Table Read
Sally A. Hoedel

“I am proud to capture this amazing tale of hard work, perseverance, dreams, love, life, family and flying on the pages of this book,” she said. “More than anything, I value the friendship that emerged despite the 40-plus-year age difference. The life lessons from Ron will stay with me for a lifetime, and I hope with my readers as well.”

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Sally A. Hoedel

Sally A. Hoedel is the author of Elvis: Destined to Die Young. Focused primarily on explaining the genetic health issues the King dealt with, the book was the first in what will be at least a three-book series exploring aspects of Elvis Presley’s life. She has been honored with an Independent Publisher Book Award and a Pencraft Award for best nonfiction book of 2021.

A lifelong Elvis fan and writer, she has a journalism degree from Michigan State University and is co-owner of Character Development and Leadership, a curriculum business. Hoedel lives in Northern Michigan with her husband and four daughters.

Find more from Sally Hoedel now:

For more information, please visit, or follow the author on Facebook (, Instagram (sallyhoedel) or YouTube (sallyhoedel).

Destined to Fly: The Story of Pilot Ron Strauss – From Iowa to Elvis

Publisher: Elvis Author, LLC

Release Date: September 28, 2022

ISBN-10: ‎1733652647

ISBN-13: ‎978-1733652643

Available from and

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