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Fri, Sep 22, 2023

Ross Perot, Jr. to Receive 2023 Whitman Trophy

Award Recognizes Dedication and Contribution to U.S. Aviation

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA)—the Washington D.C.-based U.S. non-profit organization—will award 2023’s Bruce Whitman Memorial Trophy to Mr. Ross Perot, Jr. The trophy recognizes Mr. Perot’s commitment to recognizing the achievements of America’s military heroes and sharing such for purpose of inspiring future generations of aviators.

A native of Dallas, Texas, a graduate of Vanderbilt University, and a retired United States Air Force fighter pilot, Perot, in 1982, was the first person to successfully circumnavigate the Earth in a helicopter.

As a former chair of the U.S. Air Force Memorial Foundation, Mr. Perot led a 14-year effort to build the United States Air Force Memorial in Washington, D.C. Dedicated in 2006, the unique and enduring structure pays tribute to the men and women of the USAF and its predecessor organization, the U.S. Army Air Corps. Additionally, Perot conceptualized and developed Perot Field Fort Worth Alliance Airport (AFW), one of the U.S.’s largest inland ports.

A humanitarian and devoted public servant, Mr. Perot serves on several association Boards, to include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Hoover Institution. Also, he is an Emeritus board-member of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Perot was nominated for receipt of 2023’s Bruce Whitman Memorial Trophy by the NAA board chair; his nomination was enthusiastically approved by the NAA executive committee.

NAA chair Jim Albaugh stated: “Over the years, Ross has contributed mightily to our industry as a record-setter, a pioneer, and as a supporter of so many causes that seek to inspire future generations while venerating the past. I know Bruce [the late Bruce Whitman] would enthusiastically endorse his selection as this year’s recipient.”

Established in 2019 by the NAA board of directors, the Bruce Whitman Memorial Trophy honors individuals who’ve been determined to have made significant contributions to aviation or aerospace in the United States and promoted a general  appreciation of the sacrifices and legacies of U.S. servicemen. The trophy was created in honor of and named for aerospace executive and philanthropist Bruce Whitman, to whom the inaugural prize was posthumously awarded in 2019.

To the subject of his imminent receipt of the award, Ross Perot, Jr. remarked: "It's an honor to receive the FAI Whitman Trophy, an award that embodies the spirit of aviation and its profound impact on society. Just as the Wright Brothers' legacy lives on, so does our commitment to inspire future generations to reach for the skies."

Mr. Perot will be presented the Whitman Award at the FAI Awards Dinner, presented by Gulfstream Aerospace, on 25 October 2023 in Dayton, Ohio.

Founded in 1905 as the Aero Club of America (ACA), by members of the Automobile Club of America, the organization known today as the National Aeronautic Association of the United States (NAA) is the oldest national aviation club in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. The association’s mission statement is "…dedicated to the advancement of the art, sport, and science of aviation in the United States.”



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