Financing of this expedition was no easy task. Byrd organized the expedition as his own enterprise and used his fame — what he called the hero business — to attract gifts of money, supplies and equipment. Frequently, he gained supplies from manufacturers in exchange for endorsements. Byrd also turned to the wealthy friends that had supported his North Pole expedition, such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Edsel Ford, to supply him with the cash that he needed. Particularly valuable was the support from the news media. The New York Times sent a reporter, Russell Owens to travel with the expedition to write stories that he then radioed back for publication. Similarly, Paramount Pictures contracted with Byrd and sent two cameramen on the expedition to film and create a documentary for the general public. With Byrd at the South Pole, was released in 1930 and selected by the New York Times as one of the Ten Best Films of the Year, and winner of the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

City after city acclaimed Byrd for his achievements when he returned from Antarctica, as in this ticker tape parade in Boston, ca. 1930. Richard E. Byrd Papers, #8011_1.

Image 1 of 9