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James S. McDonnell

James S. McDonnell
1899–1980
Engineer

A former Army Air Corps pilot and later an engineer, James S. McDonnell opened a small aircraft factory in St. Louis in 1939. He turned it into one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial jet lines, military aircraft, spacecraft and missiles. Mr. McDonnell created and financed research programs in science and medicine at Washington University, where he once served as chairman of the board of trustees. He and the McDonnell Foundation donated more than $28 million to the University before his death