Dr. Paul MacCready, Founder and Former Chairman of AeroVironment, Dies at 81
August 29, 2007
MONROVIA, Calif., August 29, 2007 - Dr. Paul MacCready, internationally renowned innovator and entrepreneur, founder and former chairman of the board of directors of AeroVironment, Inc., passed away in his sleep on Tuesday, August 28. Dr. MacCready had recently been diagnosed with a serious ailment. His passing occurred less than one week after the 30th anniversary of one of his most notable accomplishments, the record-setting flight of his human powered airplane, the Gossamer Condor.
"The world has lost a man of unique vision, and the people of AV have lost a mentor and friend," said Tim Conver, AeroVironment's chairman, chief executive officer and president. "Paul was an inspiration to so many people around the globe who were touched by his accomplishments and his innovative approach of "doing more with much less."
Conver continued, "The people of AV are diminished today as a result of his passing. At the same time, we are better for having known and worked with him, and we re-dedicate our efforts to the important work that carries on his legacy. Of all his accomplishments, Paul's greatest contribution may have been his remarkable ability to demonstrate that 'impossible' is no match for human imagination and perseverance. On behalf of everyone at AeroVironment, I express my sincere condolences to Paul's wife Judy, his three sons and his two grandchildren."
AeroVironment has established an online book of condolences and biography of Dr. MacCready at www.avinc.com/maccready/. Plans for a private memorial service are pending. Dr. MacCready regularly donated time and resources to education and to organizations promoting critical thinking, creativity and awareness of global challenges. His family requests that in lieu of flowers, those interested in commemorating Dr. MacCready's life consider making donations to charities that benefit future generations.
Dr. Paul MacCready
Born in 1925, Paul MacCready founded AeroVironment in 1971 and this month celebrated the 30th anniversary of the record-setting flight of the Gossamer Condor, which made the world's first sustained, controlled flight powered solely by a human on August 23, 1977. The feat led to Dr. MacCready being nicknamed the "father of human-powered flight." Dr. MacCready was named Engineer of the Century by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and selected Graduate of the Decade by the California Institute of Technology. He was named one of the 100 greatest minds of the 20th century by Time Magazine. In recent talks and presentations around the world he would typically leave his audiences with the following thought, reflecting his focus on the changing relationship between humans, nature and technology:
"Over billions of years, on a unique sphere, chance has painted a thin covering of life -- complex, improbable, wonderful and fragile. Suddenly we humans (a recently arrived species no longer subject to the checks and balances inherent in nature), have grown in population, technology, and intelligence to a position of terrible power: we now wield the paintbrush."
About AeroVironment, Inc. (AV)
AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) provides customers with more actionable intelligence so they can proceed with certainty. Based in California, AeroVironment is a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems and tactical missile systems, and serves defense, government and commercial customers. For more information visit www.avinc.com.
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