William E. Boeing
William Boeing
William Boeing in 1929


October 1, 1881


September 28, 1956 (Age 74)




Yale University



Known For:

Aircraft Industry


Founder of Boeing Company.

William Edward Boeing was an American aviation pioneer who founded The Boeing Company.

Biography Edit

Boeing was born in Detroit, Michigan, to a wealthy German mining engineer named Wilhelm Böing from Hagen-Hohenlimburg who had made a fortune and who had a sideline as a timber merchant. Anglicizing his name to "William Boeing" after returning from being educated in Switzerland in 1900 to attend Yale University, William Boeing left Yale in 1903 to go into the lumber side of the business. He also bought into He soon purchased an airplane from the Glenn L. Martin Company, and received flying lessons from Martin himself. Boeing soon cracked up the plane. When he was told by Martin that replacement parts would not become available for months, Boeing blew up. He angrily told his friend Cdr. George Conrad Westervelt (USN), "We could build a better plane ourselves and build it faster". Westervelt agreed. They soon built and flew the B&W Seaplane, an amphibian biplane that had outstanding performance. Boeing decided to go into the aircraft business and bought an old boat works on the Duwamish River near Seattle for his factory.