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This is an informal portrait of the "First Lady of Aviation," Olive Ann Beech (1903-1993), co-founder and President of the Beech Aircraft Corporation, standing by an airplane. Beech was born and raised on a farm south of Waverly, Kansas. She attended business college in Wichita and worked for the Travel Air Manufacturing Company in Wichita, before marrying Walter H. Beech on February 24, 1930. In 1932, they co-founded the Beech Aircraft Corporation. After her husband's death in 1950, Beech assumed the position of president of the corporation, and was named its chairman emeritus after her retirement in 1982. She brought the company through fifty years of growth from the Staggerwing Biplane to Skylab and from ten employees to ten thousand. Her other honors include: Woman of the Year (1951); Kansan of the Year (1958); and nomination to the NASA Space Shuttle Study Committee (1971).
Date: Between 1950 and 1955
Item Number: 712
Call Number: B Beech, Olive *5
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 712
Business and Industry - Aviation - Production - Beech
Business and Industry - Aviation - Production - Travel Air Company
Collections - Photograph
People - Notable Kansans - Beech, Olive Ann Mellor, 1903-1993
People - Women
Places - Cities and towns - Wichita
Places - Counties - Coffey
Places - Counties - Sedgwick
Transportation - Air Travel - Companies - Beech
Transportation - Air Travel - Companies - Travel Air