Walter Beech

“A pilot who says he has never been frightened in an airplane is, I’m afraid, lying.”

– Louise Thaden, pioneer aviatrix and close friend of Walter and Olive Ann Beech, in her book, High,
Wide and Frightened

“For God’s sake, why don’t you marry that girl?”

– Clyde Cessna, urging Walter Beech to marry his secretary, Olive Ann Mellor.

“We are going to build the best damned airplane ever, and no near-Depression is going to stop us!”

– Walter Beech, upon the launching of Beech Aircraft in 1932.

“He was as genuine a person as I have ever known. He thought straight, he talked straight and acted straight.”

– Lt. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, hero of the World War II Doolittle Raid on Toyko, upon the dedication of a
memorial to Walter Beech.

“I am not nervous in a Beech [airplane]. I never have reason to question any of your component parts….I never sit there using my body English to help the pilot get the gear up, and I don’t make that statement about flying any other airplane.”

– Former President Lyndon B. Johnson, to Beech employees upon taking delivery of his new King Air 100 in 1972.

“They’ll have to carry me out.”

– Olive Ann Beech to TV personality Art Linkletter, who was impertinent enough to ask when she was going to retire.

“It [a meeting with Olive Ann] was my first experience with a woman who was running a high-powered company. To me, that was something. That was high class.”

– Bob Dole, former U.S. senator from Kansas and 1996 Republican nominee for president.

“They [Fortune magazine in an interview] asked, what in your early life prepared you for [being a CEO]. She said, ‘My father told me to sit up straight at the table.’”

– Bishop Richard B. Wilke, eulogizing Olive Ann at memorial services in 1993.

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