What do John Travolta, Harrison Ford, and Angelina Jolie have in common with our beloved Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Herb Kelleher? They share a dedication to aviation!
On Friday, January 16, Herb accepted the Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award at the 12th-annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Hosted by John Travolta, the awards are considered among the most prestigious and important recognition events in aviation.
The Legends meet annually to recognize and honor individuals who have made significant contributions in aviation. Herb’s Leadership in creating a “new” airline that disrupted the industry—one that showed value and service can co-exist, where work environments even in the brutally-competitive airline industry can use words like LUV and family, and in nurturing an organization that has become one of the most-studied companies in the world for Corporate Culture, business and strategic planning, and employee engagement, has certainly earned him this status.
The "Living Legends of Aviation" are 88 remarkable people of extraordinary accomplishment in aviation including: entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, astronauts, record breakers, pilots who have become celebrities and celebrities who have become pilots. The Legends meet yearly to recognize and honor individuals that have made significant contributions in aviation. The event benefits Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to introducing educating and sparking children’s interest in aviation. Trainers give kids ages 4-9 a sense of flight, even if just a few feet off the ground. It is the mission of the academy to give children the spark they need to help create the next generation of aviators and aviation legends, while teaching them the importance of academic excellence to reach their aviation dreams.
Herb was in good company at the event, as Harrison Ford presented the "Harrison Ford Aviation Legacy Award" to Mark Baker, president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), while Angelina Jolie received the Aviation Inspiration and Patriotism Award for directing Unbroken, about the life of Louis Zamperini, a WWII airman.
Congratulations, Herb, on this well-deserved recognition!
If you’d like to raise a glass to Herb in celebration, try this special Wild Turkey drink featured in his honor at the event:
45 mL Wild Turkey Bourbon
20 mL Cinzano Rosso
2 dashes bitters
Directions: Pour all contents into Boston glass, fill with ice and stir. Strain into rocks glass or martini glass. Top with ice if in rocks glass. Add cherry for garnish.