Elected in 1967
“For air safety research.”
BY DENNIS M. BUSHNELL
JEROME F. LEDERER, President Emeritus of the Flight Safety Foundation, died of congestive heart failure at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, on February 6, 2004. He was 101 years old.
Born in New York City on September 26, 1902, Jerry became interested in aviation at an early age, stimulated by his attendance at the second aviation tournament in the United States in 1910 at Belmont Park, where one of the participants was the renowned Glenn Curtiss. Jerry graduated from the newly instituted aviation curriculum at New York University (NYU) in 1924 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering with aeronautical option. He received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from NYU in 1925 and was subsequently assistant to the director of the NYU Guggenheim School of Aeronautics. Jerry was responsible for building, calibrating, and operating NYU’s 40-mph wind tunnel.
After a brief stint as a surveyor for the West Shore Railroad, Jerry began his career in aviation as the only aeronautical engineer working for the U.S. Airmail Service in 1926 and 1927. His job was to develop specifications, test parts, and examine wreckages to determine their “repairability.” His experiences in this, his first nonacademic professional position, started him in the direction of aviation safety (and eventually industrial safety), the subjects of his entire career. Many people, in many generations worldwide, are alive today thanks to the creativity and continuous efforts of Jerry Lederer.