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Juan Terry Trippe (June 27, 1899 – April 3, 1981) was an American commercial aviation pioneer, entrepreneur and the founder of Pan American World Airways, one of the iconic airlines of the 20th century.
- We are confident that a close study of the present trend will lead to the realization of truly tremendous progress in the crossing of ocean barriers and the linking the world continents closer by air transportation within the next few years.
- In these 20 years transport aviation has become a tremendous force in the international life of our nation. So rapidly that we have yet to realize it fully, it has reduced the world to one-fifth its former travel size. Its mission has everywhere been one of peace, friendship, of aid in developing mutual benefit of trade and commerce. It has within a single decade swept away forever the age-old barriers of time and distance between this nation and its neighboring republics and the lands beyond the seas. It has already proved itself a vital force for the protection and extension of this nation's world commerce. Equally important it has proved itself the means by which those friendly nations are being woven into a great community of good neighbors.
- As we carry men, mail and merchandise - ideas and ideals - science, medicine, culture and the arts - we will again be carrying cargoes of good-will. I hope we will never carry cargoes of imperialism and hate. We must see that they are not sent. We must remember that air transport is the vehicle, not the cargo. It can serve good ends or bad.
- We must preach the gospel, 'Go abroad set up new businesses, bring in the other fellow as a local partner, be it a shoe factory, a supermarket, a sales outlet, an assembly plant, a hotel, or a local airline.' We know know that whatever community, whatever nation we may belong to as citizens, we are residents of this earth: that we are bound together and will be increasingly bound together, as we make greater and better use of the air, in a common fate: the fate of this small planet which to all of us is home. Because of aviation, men are beginning to think of themselves and of their earth in different terms -- terms which make war -- ultimate war -- less and less acceptable.
- If you want to win a baseball game, you try to outhit the other fellow but you don't take away his bat. ... I urge that when the fighting stops, British Overseas Airways be permitted to secure—on equitable terms—all the ocean transport planes that are needed to restore the balance for fair competition.
- "Business & Finance: Trippe Bats One" (31 May 1943)
- Mass travel by air made possible by the Jet Age may prove to be more significant to world destiny than the atom bomb. For there can be no atom bomb more powerful than the air tourist, charged with curiosity, enthusiasm and good will, who can roam the four corners of the world, meeting in friendship and understanding the people of other nations and races.
- "The Pan Am Story" (Pg. 8) (1958)
Speech at the Christening of the Yankee Clipper (March 3, 1939) (excerpts)
- History has clearly shown that among all the nations in the world, those which have developed to the fullest, their facilities for communication and transport have been the nations which have led the advance of civilization, and which have raised above all others, the standard of living of their people.
- A century ago and for three brief decades, our nation held that world leadership. A small country, confined to our Atlantic coast, when our vital sea commerce was crowded from the seas by stronger competitors, America rose to claim her rightful maritime birthright. Inspired in this cause our merchants provided the capital, our shipwrights the genius, our master mariners the driving power that brought into being a new maritime force. From our seaports raced forth a new breed of ocean craft, the Clippers, of such sharp-cut lines and towering masts as had never before been seen upon the seas. With hard-driving Yankee masters on their quarter decks, they raced through gales and over endless seas, lee rails awash, tall-rigging, taut with full-blown sails, to sweep our flag to a leadership upon the Seven Seas that was never successfully to be challenged in the days of sail. And in these thirty years our commerce mounted, our prestige among the nations rose, the standard of living of our people increased at a rate which has never since been equaled in our history.
- But the age of iron and steam was coming and we were unprepared. Our place upon the seas was soon forgotten as the manpower of the nation and its industry moved westward to develop the richest land empire the world has ever known.
- Today, the frontier of our great west is behind us. Once again we have come to a realization, just as did our forefathers in the days of sail, that America’s position among the nations of the world, the prosperity of our industry and commerce, the welfare of all our people is inseparably bound up in the advancement of our foreign trade.
- Thirty-five years ago America gave the world the airplane. But other nations developed it. Soon after the world war, the great transports of European nations were flying over age-old trade routes to Asia, Africa, and South America to assure for the countries a greater share of the world’s commerce. For many years America only watched.
- Then ten years ago from that same heritage that produced the sailing clipper ships, once again the nation’s business men provided the capital and the nation’s industry provided the constructive genius to bring forth the Yankee clippers of the air which have again proved their superiority over all competitors. Commanded, like their predecessors, by American captains, manned by gallant crews, they have – in ten short years – brought our nation from last to first place on the airways of the world.
- Today, America is ideally fitted, by heritage, by ability, and by the will of her people, to maintain this leadership – upon which our national economy, our standard of living itself, is becoming increasingly dependent.
About Juan Trippe
- Unfortunately, the real tailspin he’d passed on so he never saw the company go down. He died in 1981 so he never saw the company fail. In his final years if someone told him this company was going to go under, he wouldn’t have believed it.
- A fierce antagonist in business competition, Mr. Trippe practiced a good-neighbor policy in dealing with foreign countries. He was a talented diplomat. If an earthquake or a hurricane occurred in Latin America, Pan Am was quickly on the scene, helping to remove refugees and providing emergency supplies.
- "JUAN TRIPPE, 81, DIES; U.S. AVIATION PIONEER" (4 April 1981)
- Trippe wasn't a dictator, but he did want to take over the world.
- F. Robert van der Linden, "How Pan Am’s Founder Juan Trippe Turned Americans Into Frequent Fliers" in The Smithsonian Magazine (2007)