Concept

Bill Lear

Résumé
William Powell Lear (June 26, 1902 – May 14, 1978) was an American inventor and businessman. He is best known for founding Learjet, a manufacturer of business jets. He also invented the battery eliminator for the B battery, and developed the car radio and the 8-track cartridge, an audio tape system. Throughout his career of 46 years, Lear received over 140 patents. Lear was born on June 26, 1902, in Hannibal, Missouri to Rueben Marion Lear, a carpenter, and Gertrude Elizabeth Powell Lear. His mother left his father and he stayed with his aunt, Gussie Bornhouser, in Dubuque, Iowa. Later, Otto Kirmse took him in and raised him as his stepson. The family relocated to Chicago where Lear attended Kershaw Grammar School. On Sundays, he attended the Moody Tabernacle (now Moody Church). "From listening to Paul Rader, of the Moody Tabernacle, he learned grammar and how to speak. He found out how to meet people, how to shake hands, and what to say when he did so... He learned about hypocrisy, too", and ceased any further church affiliation. While in Chicago, Lear was employed briefly at a local airfield. He spent one summer with his father in Tulsa, re-building a Model-T car. Too independent to move back with his mother in Chicago, Lear struck out cross country. He joined the U.S. Navy and was sent to Great Lakes Naval Training Station. After discharge, and with a young family, "he decided to complete his high school education. Starting a radio repair shop in his home, which he could tend nights, Lear enrolled at Tulsa Central High School, taking eight solids, heavy on the math. He was at the point of wrapping up the entire four-year curriculum in one, when he was again dismissed for showing up teachers." Lear was self-taught: "He had read widely on wireless, including the works of Nikola Tesla, the scientist/inventor. He had even built a radio set, based on a twenty-five-cent Galena crystal which he sent away for, and he had learned the Morse code, the fun ending with the ban on radio during World War I.
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