Kelly Johnson designed the Blackbird, a plane that flew non-stop from London to Los Angeles in less than four hours, outracing the sun and landing four hours before it had taken off, a remarkable feat - and this was more than 35 years ago. Johnson was the innovative genius behind Lockheed's "Skunk Works", and played a leading role in the development of more than forty aircraft, including some of America's most sophisticated planes such as the Constellation, Shooting Star, F-104, U-2, and the SR-71 Blackbird.
"Hardly an audio book. More of an audio pamphlet."
Elon Musk is the man behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, multi-billion dollar companies he founded. Although he is now a multi-billionaire, his objective has never been to amass great wealth, but to save humanity. Writing in the Smithsonian, Carl Hoffman noted: "He does not laugh or crack a smile when he says this. There is no hint of irony."
"Could learn more from Google "
Here's a biographical profile of Charles F. Kettering, a man who always sought solutions to great problems. A philosopher, engineer, master salesman, scientist and genius inventor, Kettering, Delco's founder and major shareholder of GM, gave us many things: electric automobile starters, electric headlights, Freon, automatic transmissions, incubators for premature babies, premium gasoline, car generators, electric cash registers, and much more.
Henry Ford, an American folk hero to many, was a man with several faces. He was a genius who revolutionized the automobile industry, irrevocably altered American culture and commerce, developed mass production, and helped the middle class emerge in America. He was also an anti-Semitic autocrat who hated Wall Street, bankers and financiers with unmitigated passion.
Howard Hughes was a mysterious billionaire, heroic, tragic, brilliant, mad, pathological, and extraordinarily wealthy. He was a great businessman or a terrible one; the jury is still out. But his life was fascinating and disturbing.
A Road Well Traveled offers many lessons to be draw from the pioneers of the automotive industry and the fascinating lives they led. Some became fabulously wealthy; others died in obscurity. But they developed America's largest industry in the space of one generation and demonstrated the skills and characteristics necessary to achieve such success.
"5 Hours of Listening Pleasure!"
Here's a biographical profile of the Freelan and Francis Stanley, identical twins who developed the Stanley Steamers, cars powered by steam engines. In 1897 the brothers, dressed alike in overcoats, bowler hats and sporting thick black beards appeared on Maple Street in Watertown, Mass., driving a horseless carriage that was nearly soundless. Spectators were stunned by the quick pace and eerie silence. One observer later recalled: "It was like watching a pair of pants run down the street with nobody in them."
Several prominent brother teams pioneered the American automobile industry: Horace and John Dodge, Charles and Frank Duryea, Francis and Freelan Stanley, five Studebaker brothers and James and William Packard. However, the seven burly Fisher brothers were not only the most numerous of all the families, each one extensively involved in developing the famous "Body by Fisher" brand and subsequently General Motors, they were also among the most successful of the automobile titans.
Here's a biographical profile of Harvey Firestone, founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. Once upon a time there were four friends who called themselves the Vagabonds. They took summer trips together, shared their thoughts, dreams and visions, and forever changed the world we live in. They were born into simple farming families but set their horizons well beyond their pastures. They were inventive and industrious, and they achieved extraordinary success.
Here's a biographical profile of the Duesenberg brothers, Augie and Fred, who built some of America's most famous cars, cars that today sell for millions at auctions. Jay Leno, owner of an extensive classic car collection, calls the Duesenberg SJ his favorite car. He feels it is "probably the greatest American car" ever built. The Duesenberg name evokes images of a European heritage, an automobile built in the image and traditions of iconic stalwarts such as Mercedes, Benz, Bugatti and Ferrari.
Biographical profile of Walter Elias Disney, the man who built an empire on the back of a mouse. Imbued with an iron-like drive to succeed, Disney pushed, prodded, and pressed those around him, as he did himself, to succeed. He was always on the edge of vision and technology. An unmitigated risk taker, Disney constantly flirted with financial ruin, seemingly bent on a mission to remain in debt while his brother Roy's ambition was to harness Walt's financial excesses.
J. Edgar Hoover called the FBI the "Seat of Government", and in many way it was. He was one of the most powerful men in American history and while he was at the helm of the "Seat of Government", few dared to defy him. He was a law onto himself, the self-anointed protector of American security and virtues. Hoover's career with the FBI spanned 10 presidents, eight while he was the director. Trying to understand J. Edgar is like trying to solve a Rubic's cube with both hands tied behind the back.
Here's a biographical profile of John and Horace Dodge, the fabulously wealthy Detroit automobile pioneers who reveled in yachts, estates and producing great cars. Unfortunately, John and Horace's lifestyles were unacceptable to the social elite in Detroit; they regarded the brothers as uncultured, crude and boorish. And they probably were, but it bothered the brothers not at all.
Here's a biographical profile of Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., a fashionable dresser whose starched and pressed stiff-collared shirts, double-breasted suits, spats, and a pearl tie pin gave him the appearance of a dandy, of a playboy. But Sloan, who built General Motors into the largest corporation in the world through hard work and vision, and devoted the same zeal to philanthropy, had no time for play.
Here's a biographical profile of Henry J. Kaiser, a great industrialist and philanthropist who had a profound impact on America's ability to prevail in World War II. People tend to regard the great American titans of the past as robber barons, men who made their fortunes off the backs of the oppressed, flaunting laws and living like nabobs while others had to scratch for a living.
"A Pithy Tribrute to an Amazing American"
Here's a biographical profile of Charles Goodyear, the man who gave the world one of its most useful products - vulcanized rubber. Natural rubber, the milky sap of rubber trees, is not a very practical commodity. It melts in hot weather or cracks and freezes in cold weather. In 1839, Charles Goodyear came across a process that made rubber so useful it changed the world we live in. A century later there were 122 rubber factories in Ohio.
Here's a biographical profile of Ransom E. Olds, regarded as the first of the great American automobile pioneers. He not only sold the first car manufactured in America, his company was the first of the great automobile enterprises, a model and training ground for the Dodge brothers, Henry Ford, Henry Leland (founder of Cadillac and Lincoln), and other automotive trailblazers.
Separating fiction from fact, award-winning author Daniel Alef, tells the true story of Zuckerberg's meteoric rise and his indelible mark on the evolution of American culture through social networking and now advertising. The curly-haired wunderkind rubs elbows with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Graham, and other prominent players in today's business, technological, and media world and is an emerging philanthropist.
"Terrible Book Do Not Buy"
Here's a biographical profile of John M. Studebaker, one of the largest wagon manufacturing concern in the U.S. who foresaw a new mode of transportation. Although five Studebaker brothers were involved at one time or another in the wagon and car business, the evolution of the company from wagons to cars and its enormous success is largely attributable to one brother, John Mohler Studebaker.
Here's a biographical profile of James Ward Packard, an American automobile pioneer. Unlike many of the automobile pioneers who received their primary training with blacksmiths, or under watchful eyes of mechanics in wagon, bicycle or railroad shops, Packard and his older brother William learned their trade as engineering students at Lehigh University.