The annals of commercial air transport are filled with illustrious names - some remain known to generations long after the actual people have passed on. But it's no exaggeration to say that one individual truly belongs in a class by himself.
Had there never been a Juan Terry Trippe, the whole evolution of the air transport system we take so much for granted now would have been very different.
Take jets, for example. In the mid-1950's virtually all airline decision-makers - that is, all but Pan Am's Juan Trippe - were contemplating an easy and gradual transition from the proven and reliable fleets of piston driven airplanes they were still buying, to the eventual use of turbine-powered planes. But Trippe saw an opportunity no one else could visualize. It was assumed that the future was going to mean jet travel for the masses someday, but only he could see that future was only two or three years away.
Never mind that the spectacular failure of the first generation British Comet jet transport (beautiful, but fatally flawed) had left the world deeply skeptical of the future for civilian jet transports. By dint of his commanding vision, business acumen, persuasive personality, and not least his gambler's risk-tolerance, Juan Trippe re-ordered the universe of commercial air transport. Boeing's Bill Allen and Donald Douglas were artfully maneuvered into creating stunning new jet airplanes to match Trippe's vision for Pan American and in short order, the rest of the world's air carriers were forced to follow his lead. Before the '50's were over, there was a new standard for air travel - years ahead of what had been previously accepted as state of the art. The "jet-age" 1960's would simply not have been without Juan Trippe.
This is only a single example of what Juan Trippe meant to the world. His accomplishments and historical stature deserve a wealth of informational resources, and to that end we are pleased to provide these links to sources that point to his life and accomplishments. Link to Slideshow
Flying Magazine. September 1935
The Marvelous History of the Pan American Airways
By Robert H. Rankin
Inc. at 30, Special Anniversary Issue. April 2009
The Great Leaders Series: Juan Trippe, Founder of Pan American World Airways
By Mike Hofman
LIFE. October 1941
Juan Trippe: Pan Am Airways' Young Chief Helps Run a Branch of U.S. Defense
Smithsonian Magazine. November 2007
Sky King: Pan Am founder Juan Trippe turned Americans into Frequent Fliers
By Owen Edwards
Time Magazine. July 31, 1933
Time Magazine. March 28, 1949
Time Magazine. December 7, 1998
Juan Trippe: Pilot of the Jet Age
By Richard Branson
JUAN TRIPPE ONLINE
Juan Trippe Biography (1899-1981) Biography
By Richard Branson
Harvard Business School: Leadership
American Business Leaders of the Twentieth Century
Hotel Interactive. December 2006
A Trippe Down Memory Lane: Though the maverick entrepreneur Juan Trippe is renowned for starting Pan Am World Airways, he also launched InterContinental Hotels and adopting many now standard industry practices
By Stanley Turkel
Pan American World Airways: Aviation History in the Words of its People (by James Patrick Baldwin & Jeff Kriendler, with Leslie Giles)
Juan Trippe's Assistant by Kathleen Clair
A chapter from the anthology.
National Aviation Hall of Fame
Juan Trippe, Entrepreneur
Yale Alumni Magazine, November/December 2012
The Man Who Shrank the World
By Judth Ann Schiff
Life Magazine Photo Archive - Juan Trippe, 1941 - hosted by Google: Follow the trail of Juan Trippe Life Magazine images by clicking on the last thumbnail of each set...
Daytona Beach Morning Journal
Juan Trippe, Pan Am Founder, Dies
The New York Times
Juan Trippe, 81, Dies; U.S. Aviation Pioneer
Boys' Life. July 1946
Supermen - Junior: Juan Trippe
Popular Science. November 1941
Here's My Story: Juan Terry Trippe
RELATED ARTICLES AT PANAM . ORG
Photo Gallery: Juan Terry Trippe