Hindenburg Disaster – 6.3 – Cyrus Rowlett Smith (CEO, American Airlines, 1934-1968)


Cyrus Rowlett Smith


The Official Story

(CEO of American Airlines, 1934-1968)


Cyrus RowlettC.R.Smith (September 9, 1899 – April 4, 1990) was the CEO of American Airlines from 1934 to 1968 and from 1973 to 1974. He was also the wartime deputy commander of the Air Transport Command during World War II, and the United States Secretary of Commerce for a brief period under President Lyndon B. Johnson. He is regarded as one of the titans of U.S. airline history.

Airline career

Smith’s abilities were first recognized by Texas industrialist Alva Pearl Barrett, who in 1928 set up the airline Texas Air Transport (TAT), which became Southern Air Transport. Smith joined SAT as a vice president in 1929, and through a series of mergers SAT became part of American Airlines. American’s owner, E. L. Cord, hired Smith to run the nationwide network based on his able management of the Southern operation. In 1934, he became president of American Airlines.

In business, he was known for an informal, no-nonsense leadership style that stressed close relationships with both executives and employees. Convair president Jack Naish noted that “you can close a $100 million deal on his word alone.” He generally communicated through personally typed one-page memos. Smith was said to know every American employee by name until the end of his first term as CEO. He fostered a close relationship with Douglas Aircraft that led American to become a key adopter of the Douglas DC-3 and DC-6: he was also one of the early proponents of what is now LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

One of Smith’s most famous acts was the publication of an advertisement entitled “Why Dodge This Question: Afraid To Fly?” in 1934. Airline safety had been a taboo subject at the time, and Smith was credited with being the first airline manager to discuss it openly with the public.

In 1946, Smith began to break Pan American’s monopoly in international air travel through American Overseas Airlines, leading to American’s expansion overseas. He also created the Admirals Club, the first member’s only airline lounge system. In the 1950s, he helped American become the first domestic jet carrier in the US by selecting the Boeing 707 aircraft, which came out months before its rival Douglas DC-8.

Smith was instrumental in lobbying for the FAA to implement a mandatory retirement age of 60 for commercial airline pilots in large part because he was eager to remove older, more expensive pilots from his cockpits and replace them with younger pilots with lower salaries. Smith was convinced it would be easier to train younger pilots for the new jet airliners, as there was some anecdotal evidence suggesting that older pilots on average took longer to adjust to the new jet airliners which had very different control characteristics than airliners with propellers. The age 60 retirement rule was publicly justified on the grounds that pilots might experience health issues past the age of 60. This rule remained in effect from 1960 until 2007 when Congress voted to raise it to 65 on the grounds that the age 60 rule was outdated and it was now much easier to screen pilots for potential health risks.

In 1953, Smith was having dinner with a CBS radio executive who complained of the lack of advertisers willing to have their commercials aired in the middle of the night, even at reduced rates. Smith struck a deal and bought the block of hours from 11:30 pm until 6:00 am exclusively for American and created the show Music ‘Til Dawn. It was played on nine major CBS radio stations in American’s network with classical, semi-classical, and easy listening music with only subtle advertising. Music ‘Til Dawn lasted for 15 years and became an award winning radio show with millions of followers.

Smith left American in 1968 to become the US Secretary of Commerce. He agreed to return to American in 1973 for six months, following a period of corporate mismanagement and scandal, while the board of directors searched for a permanent replacement. After the six month period was over, Smith retired for a final time stating that he was “thinking with a DC-6 mind and this business has changed. Yet if you don’t take my advice, I’ll get upset.”

Source: Wikipedia

The Truth


A false flag is a covert operation designed to deceive; the deception creates the appearance of a particular party, group, or nation being responsible for some activity, disguising the actual source of responsibility.


(of a stimulus or mental process) below the threshold of sensation or consciousness; perceived by or affecting someone’s mind without their being aware of it.




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