William P. Lear, Jr., at age 80, is the son of William P. Lear who designed and manufactured the legendary Learjet business jet – now a household name.
Bill, Jr. has, in his own right, been a renegade and innovator. In 1946, at age 17, he borrowed $1250 from his father to purchase a brand new WWII Lockheed P-38 from the War Assets Administration. On May 20, 1946 this young kid became the youngest pilot in the world to have ever flown the famed P-38 twin-engine fighter aircraft.
He later became the youngest pilot to have raced his P-38 in the Bendix Trophy races at ages 18 and 19 in 1946 and 1947.
Bill later joined the Air Force where he became a jet fighter-pilot serving in Germany for three years during the Korean conflict at a time when it was generally thought that Korea was a diversion for a Soviet invasion of Western Europe.
When his father began development of the Learjet in 1963 he became President
Long retired, Bill is an accomplished writer having written many articles and his auto-biography, “FLY FAST…SIN BOLDLY – Flying, Spying and Surviving” (www.billlear.com).