Kelly Johnson

Engineer, Organization founder

1910 – 1990

 Credit ยป
19

Who was Kelly Johnson?

Clarence Leonard "Kelly" Johnson was an American system engineer and aeronautical innovator. He earned renown for his contributions to many noteworthy aircraft designs, especially the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes, but also including the P-38 Lightning, P-80 Shooting Star, and F-104 Starfighter, among others. As a member and first team leader of the Lockheed Skunk Works, Johnson worked for more than four decades and is said to have been an "organizing genius". He played a leading role in the design of over forty aircraft, including several honored with the prestigious Collier Trophy, acquiring a reputation as one of the most talented and prolific aircraft design engineers in the history of aviation. In 2003, as part of its commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' flight, Aviation Week & Space Technology ranked Johnson 8th on its list of the top 100 "most important, most interesting, and most influential people" in the first century of aerospace. Hall Hibbard, Johnson's Lockheed boss, referring to Johnson's Swedish ancestry once remarked to Ben Rich: "That damned Swede can actually see air."

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Born
Feb 27, 1910
Ishpeming
Also known as
  • Clarence Leonard "Kelly" Johnson
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • University of Michigan
Lived in
  • Burbank
Died
Dec 21, 1990
Los Angeles

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Kelly Johnson." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Feb. 2023. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/clarence_johnson>.

Discuss this Kelly Johnson biography with the community:

0 Comments

    Browse Biographies.net