By Michael Baadke
William Edward Boeing, who founded the aviation company that still bears his name today, was born Oct. 1, 1881, in Detroit, Mich.
Boeing attended Yale University but left before graduating to enter the timber business, as his father had done before him. Living and working in Seattle, Wash., Boeing learned to fly airplanes from Glenn L. Martin and purchased a Martin plane.
In 1916 he established his own aircraft company, initially named Pacific Airplane Co., but soon renamed Boeing Airplane Co.
Boeing retired in 1934, but remained active in property development near Seattle. He died Sept. 28, 1956.
Boeing aircraft have been pictured on several United States stamps, including a Boeing B377 Stratocruiser flying over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on a 25¢ airmail stamp issued in 1947 (Scott C36), a B-52 Stratofortress on a 1957 6¢ airmail stamp (C49), and a Boeing 747 on the 2007 $4.60 Air Force One stamp (4144).
William E. Boeing has appeared on stamps from several countries, including Micronesia, which in 1996 issued a 32¢ stamp honoring Boeing in its Pioneers of Flight commemorative series (Scott 238g).