Wed, Jun 24, 2009
Businessman and Small Jet Engine Pioneer
Dr. Sam B. Williams, founder and Chairman of turbine engine
maker Williams International, passed away June 22nd, 2009 at the
age of 88. Dr. Williams is best known for his patented invention of
the small fanjet engine that enabled the creation of small
efficient business jets.
With FAA certification of Williams' FJ44-1A engine in 1992,
Williams International became the first and only company to break
into the fanjet industry in the past half-century. Since that time,
4000 FJ44 engines have entered service at the light end of the
business jet market, fulfilling Dr. Williams' lifelong dream of
making jet travel safe, convenient, and affordable.
He received many accolades for innovation, most notably the
Collier Trophy presented by President Jimmy Carter, the Wright
Brothers Memorial Trophy presented by President Ronald Reagan, and
the National Medal of Technology presented by President Bill
Clinton. Dr. Williams was also inducted into the National Inventors
Hall of Fame and the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
Dr. Williams also applied his gift for innovation to the many
charities he supported, especially through his promotion of
inventors and inventions in medical research for cancer and
degenerative eye diseases.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara Gibson Williams,
two sons and a daughter, and three grandchildren. His son, Gregg G.
Williams, who is the current President and CEO of Williams
International, will also assume the title of Chairman.
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