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William Lear, Sr.

(1902 - 1978)

  • Inventor and businessman born in Missouri
  • Developed radio direction finders, autopilots, and the first fully automatic aircraft landing system
  • Developed the 8-track cartridge, an audio tape system popular in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Founded Lear Jet Corporation in Wichita in 1962 to manufacture business jets