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William P. Lear

William P. LearAKA William Powell Lear

Born: 26-Jun-1902
Birthplace: Hannibal, MO
Died: 14-May-1978
Location of death: Reno, NV
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Cremated (ashes scattered at sea)

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Inventor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Lear Jet, Inc.

Military service: US Navy (WWI)

Invented a portable radio designed for automobiles, which he sold to the predecessor of Motorola in 1924. With this funding he designed a universal amplifier, which he sold to RCA in 1934. And with this money he founded Lear, Inc., which manufactured aviation communications equipment, soon becoming the largest provider of it. Lear wanted to build a low-cost jet aircraft intended for the business market, but Lear Inc. did not want to enter this market. Lear sold his shares and founded Lear Jet Industries in 1962. This venture was successful, mass producing an aircraft in 1963, and Bill Lear exited this business in 1969 to form Lear Motors, Inc., a less successful enterprise. Among his other inventions are included the eight-track tape player.

Father: Reuben Lear (carpenter)
Mother: Gertrude Steuber Powell
Wife: (wife #1)
Wife: (wife #2, one daughter)
Daughter: Mary
Wife: (wife #3, one daughter, one son)
Daughter: Patricia
Son: William P. Lear, Jr.
Wife: Moya Marie Olsen (wife #4, m. 1941, two sons, two daughters)
Son: John
Daughter: Shanda
Son: David
Daughter: Valentina

    Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society


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