Olive Ann Beech
Olive Ann Beech was a U.S. aviation pioneer and businesswoman.

With her husband, Walter Herschel Beech
Walter Herschel Beech
Walter Herschel Beech was an American pioneer aviator.-Biography:He was born in Pulaski, Tennessee on January 30, 1891. Beech started flying in 1905, at age 14, when he built a glider of his own design. Then, after flying for the United States Army during World War I, he joined the Swallow...

, she founded the Beech Aircraft Company.

During World War II, she ran the company during the period her husband suffered encephalitis
Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis with meningitis is known as meningoencephalitis. Symptoms include headache, fever, confusion, drowsiness, and fatigue...


After her husband's death in 1950, she continued running the company, and was the driving force for the company's later expansion. On the company's merger into Raytheon
Raytheon Company is a major American defense contractor and industrial corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics. It was previously involved in corporate and special-mission aircraft until early 2007...

, she joined Raytheon's board.

In 1980, the U.S. National Aeronautic Association
National Aeronautic Association
The National Aeronautic Association of the United States is a non-profit 501 organization and a member of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale , the international standard setting and record-keeping body for aeronautics and astronautics. NAA is the official record-keeper for United States...

 awarded her the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy
Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy
Winners of the National Aeronautic Association's Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy:*2009 - Steven Udvar-Hazy*2008 - Norman R. Augustine*2007 - Eugene Cernan*2006 - Norman Mineta*2005 - Edward C. Aldridge Jr.*2004 - Robert Crandall*2003 - John Glenn...

 for her contributions to the aviation industry. She was inducted into the American National Business Hall of Fame
American National Business Hall of Fame
The American National Business Hall of Fame , established in 1972, as the result of an idea by Willard F. Rockwell, Jr. and Alan Hilburg...

 in 1983. She died in Wichita, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Wichita is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas.As of the 2010 census, the city population was 382,368. Located in south-central Kansas on the Arkansas River, Wichita is the county seat of Sedgwick County and the principal city of the Wichita metropolitan area...


External links

  • http://specialcollections.wichita.edu/exhibits/beech/exhibita.html
  • http://www.naa.aero/html/awards/index.cfm?cmsid=204
  • http://epics.ecn.purdue.edu/abiwt/work/GAW/Kansas_2.htm
  • National Aviation Hall of Fame article
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