"Bill Lear, an irascible, eccentric, outrageous aviation genius, did more in his unorthodox way to make the skies safe for pilots than any other man of his era. Ironically, this least corporate of men, who fought every establishment and played by no one’s rules but his own, is best remembered for his corporate jet. Seven years after his death, the Lear Jet is still the best-selling business airplane."
"This is a fast-paced biography of a grade-school graduate who patented more than 150 designs and inventions in electronics and aerodynamics and won honorary degrees and major awards. Among Lear’s inventions were the first practical direction finder for airplanes, the first automatic pilot for jets (used in the Korean War and on the U-2 spy plane), an automatic landing system for jets, and the eight-track tape."
"As a poor boy who made and lost millions four times over, Lear also won the Horatio Alger rags-to-riches award. Alger, whose prescription for success was hard work, modesty, and upright behavior, must have squirmed in his grave when his prize went to a boisterous, high-living womanizer. Men who worked for Lear rarely had anything milder than a love-hate relationship with him, but for his four wives, a string of mistresses, innumerable girlfriends, and seven children, life with Lear was even more complicated. Yet no one who knew him ever forgot him."
"In his book, Richard Rashke re-creates the tension and excitement of the early days of radio and aviation with the vivid detail that won him acclaim for his earlier book The Killing of Karen Silkwood. In chronicling the life and work of the man the press dubbed “aviation’s stormy genius,” he has given us a highly readable and entertaining business and aviation story.”
From the fly-leaf of : "STORMY GENIUS - The Life of Aviation's Maverick BILL LEAR" by Richard Rashke (also author of "The Killing of Karen Silkwood") - ISBN - 0-395-35372-6 (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1985)
— RECOMMENDED READING —