Clarence "Kelly" Johnson
Born February 27, 1910 - Died December 21, 1990
Patent #: 2,771,740
Clarence "Kelly" Johnson designed technologically advanced aircraft, including the United States' first operational jet fighter, the Lockheed F-80.
Born in Ishpeming, Michigan, Johnson knew he wanted to design airplanes by the time he was twelve. He attended Flint Junior College using money saved from his own earnings. He later studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Michigan, earning a B.S. in 1932 and an M.S. in 1933.
Also known for his managerial talent, Johnson created Lockheed's "Skunk Works," a team of engineers that designed advanced military aircraft and became known for some of the company’s most remarkable aviation technology. He retired as senior vice president in 1975 and continued to advise the company until his death.