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James Smith McDonnell
1899 - 1980 
 
McDonnell Aircraft Corp., 1939-1967
President 1939-1962
Chairman and CEO 1962-1967

McDonnell Douglas Corp., 1967-1980
Chairman and CEO 1967-1972
Chairman of the Board 1972-1980



Born in Denver, Colorado,April 8,1899. Was raised in Little Rock,Arkansas. Graduated in 1921 from Princeton University with a B.S.degree and honors in Physics.Recieved a M.S.degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in aeronautical engineering in 1925.Recived his wings while serving as a 2nd. Lt.in the Army Air Corps at Brooks Field, San Antonio,Texas in 1924. After leaving the military he held many jobs. He was an aeronautical engineer and pilot with Huff, Daland Airplane Company, Ogdensburg,New York; a detail designer and stress analyst with Consolidated Aircraft Company, Buffalo, New York; an assistant chief engineer with the Stout Metal Airplane Company, Ford Field, Michigan and chief engineer with the Hamilton Aero Manufacturing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 1928, he formed a small company in Milwaukee called J. S. McDonnell, Jr. and Associates to develop a two-place, low-wing airplane to enter the 1929 Safe Aircraft Guggenheim $100,000 Safe Air Competition.During a competitive flight at Mitchell Field, Long Island, in November 1929, the stabilizer on the tail broke. Mr. Mac refused to bail out, and landed safely, but the plane was damaged.
Mr. Mac refused to give up his ideal, and the next year flew what then he called the "Doodlebug" throughout the United States in demonstration flights. But because of the depresson, no financing was available and he had to abandon his project.
He then became an engineer and test pilot with Great Lakes Aircraft Corporation, Cleveland Ohio. From there he went to the Glenn L. Martin Company, Baltimore, Maryland, as a project engineer.
After five years with Martin, during which he rose to be chief project engineer for land planes, he decided that the time had come for him to form his own firm. He resigned in December 1938 and in six months he raised $165,000 from his own savings, family, friends and businessmen, and decided on St. Louis as the location for his company.
On July 6, 1939 the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation was legally incorporated.
Thanks to his dream and determination, we had a great job, earn a good living, provided for our families and are enjoying our retirement today.
We can still hear his voice over the speaker, "This Mac calling the Team, this is old Mac calling all the Team." We truly felt that we were all members of the Team. A Team that Mr. MAC gave us the opportunity to be a member.

Thank you Mr. MAC

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