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   Vol. 19 No. 33
Tuesday April 21, 2020
Remembering James Hartigan, Sr.
James Hartigan, Sr.

     Former United Airlines President, CEO, and later Chairman James Hartigan, Sr., died at home in Barrington, Illinois, on March 28 at age 95.
     A native of Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Hartigan started working for United in New York in 1942 as a junior passenger agent.
     In 1945 he returned to United after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he underwent pilot training and later was a flight instructor in Florida.
     Once discharged from military service, Mr. Hartigan married his wife, Ann, in 1946.
     Mr. Hartigan was named United's President in 1981 and CEO in 1985, serving in both roles until 1987. He then served as Chairman until his retirement in 1988.
     We spent some time with Mr. Hartigan Sr. at a gala black-tie dinner in New York when he was named “Man of the Year” by The Kiwanis Club at LaGuardia Airport in 1986.
     At the end of our conversation, I presented a book we had created on the history of LaGuardia Airport as part of our effort to save The Marine Air Terminal from destruction.
     The book included pictures of the 42 street Airlines Terminal that was located just across the street from Grand Central Station in Manhattan.
     I had created a detailed chapter tracing the history of that beautiful art deco building that, when constructed, was actually the first all-welded super structure building in Manhattan.
     The Airlines Terminal was later destroyed to make way for a new building that houses the world headquarters of Philip Morris cigarettes. The point was of course was that our pioneer aviation buildings needed protection.
     I made the point to Jim Sr., declaring that we were just damn lucky to be able to save the MAT LaGuardia, and he agreed wholeheartedly!
     Mr. Hartigan looked at my book and the dozen pages we devoted to the exquisite Airlines Terminal, and said softly:
     “That is the building where I began my career with United in 1942 as a dispatcher of the big 1940 Cadillac stretch limos that would exit down a ramp from inside the buildings garage onto 41st street and straight out to our waiting aircraft at LaGuardia,” Jim Hartigan said.
     I was particularly struck with what Mr. Hartigan said next:
     “Hey, there is Charlie and Fred,” as he looked at the pictures of United people inside the Airlines Terminal.
     He was looking at a picture and recalling people he knew at that point in time more that 40 years prior.

Kenny Ippolito, Geoffrey Arend, Robert Aaronson, James Hartigan, Sr., Tim Peirce

     Mr. Hartigan Sr. was an everyman, just as regular as a favorite pair of shoes, with no pretenses at all and the rare ability to get into a conversation, even to a complete stranger, with something to contribute in an honest and forthright manner.
     Later I realized that while he was reading my book, he was also reading me and recognized our shared passion.
     Jim Hartigan, Sr., has always remained in our thoughts as has son Jim Jr., who served as President of United Cargo.
     Jim Jr. was at the helm the last time UA Cargo operated those DC-10 Freighters Jan spoke of in the above story.
     Jim Sr. is survived by his loving wife of 73 years, Ann, and his children John Hartigan (Laurie) and Patricia Meenan (James), his daughter-in-law Maureen Hartigan, as well as 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, and his brother John.
     Sadly Jim Sr. was preceded in death by his son James J. Hartigan, Jr.
     A celebration of his life so well lived will be held later in 2020.

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Vol. 19 No. 30
When Italian Sunday was Easter and Monday was Fun

Vol. 19 No. 31
American Homespun Air Cargo
Chuckles for April 15, 2020

Vol. 19 No. 32
Picture for Sunday Afternoon
Chuckles for April 17, 2020
Don't Worry Be Happy

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