Tuesday Jun 27, 1899 to Friday Apr 3, 1981
U.S.Juan Terry Trippe was an American commercial aviation pioneer, entrepreneur and the founder of Pan American World Airways, one of the iconic airlines of the 20th century. He was instrumental in numerous revolutionary advances in airline history, including the development and production of the Boeing 314 Clipper, which opened trans-Pacific airline travel, the Boeing Stratoliner which helped to pioneer cabin pressurization, the Boeing 707 which launched the Jet Age, and the Boeing 747 which introduced the era of jumbo jets (evolved from Air Force bombers, tanker and transport design, respectively). Trippe's signing of the 747 contract coincided with the 50th anniversary of Boeing, and he gave a speech where he explained his belief that these jets would be a force that would help bring about world peace.
He enrolled at Yale University but left when the United States entered World War I to apply for flight training with the United States Navy. After completing training in June 1918, he was designated as a Naval Aviator and was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy Reserve.
Interested in operating to the Caribbean, Trippe created the Aviation Corporation of the Americas. Based in Florida, the company would evolve into the unofficial United States flag carrier, Pan American Airways, commonly known as Pan Am.
Trippe quickly recognized the opportunities presented by jet aircraft and ordered several Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 airplanes. Pan Am's first scheduled jet flight was operated on October 26, 1958 by 707 Clipper America out of Idlewild International Airport (now JFK) to Le Bourget Airport, Paris. The new jets allowed Pan Am to cut the flight time nearly in half, introduce lower fares, and fly more passengers in total.