Manfred von Richthofen (1892 - 1918), also widely known as the Legendary Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service during World War I. He is considered the ace of aces of that war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories, more than any other pilot. The Red Baron only wrote one book, his "autobiography", Der Rote Kampfflieger. This book was written just before he was killed, and it details his meteoric rise from a cavalryman to one of the most well-known fighter pilots of all time.
Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen made his name as the highest-scoring ace fighter pilot of WWI. His popular name, the Red Baron, owed to being of minor nobility (Freiherr = "free lord") and to choosing to fly a brightly-painted red aeroplane when camouflage colors were the norm. This advertisement to the enemy brought him frequent combats, so that he liked to claim that he shot down Englishmen before breakfast. When it seemed that he was being particularly sought by crack enemy pilots, the men of his command, Jasta 11, also painted their planes red.