We had the pleasure of getting to know Ed Trippe, chairman of The Pan Am Historical Foundation and the son of Juan Trippe, founder of Pan Am.

Trippe is a very humble man who enjoys sharing stories of what it was like to grow up with the great aviation pioneer.”  I was just a normal kid growing up with a family. Sure my dad may have been famous, but I didn’t know that, he was just ‘dad’ playing golf, throwing the football, swimming with me in the summer. I didn’t see him as anything extraordinary beyond being my dad. But when I would go on a plane people would recognize him and the service was wonderful. I knew something was different, but it was a nice, normal life growing up,” he said.

As Trippe got older and his career started taking off, more and more folks valued his input, and wanted to know his opinion on various projects. “People would often come up to me particularly as I got older: ‘Mr.Trippe what do you think about that or Mr. Trippe would you like to do this?’ I’d say ‘wait a second, there was only one Mr. Trippe, my father, and my name is Ed.”

All joking aside, Trippe couldn’t be more honored to have become this year’s San Francisco Aeronautical Association Achievement in Aviation award recipient. “It was a tremendous honor to receive that award. It meant so much to me and my family to be there and receive that award; be a part of this museum and the future, moving forward, it’s just a huge honor for me,” he said.

Trippe is also very excited about donating to the SFO museum the very extensive, historical film collection that he hopes will be available for many decades to come. Mr. Trippe explained, “This is a phenomenal collection; it’s huge. It spans the entire history of Pan Am, and it covers everything from flight training, to travel logs, to mechanical issues, to the war which was fascinating. We’re just delighted that the film collection will be well taken care of in its new home, and available for future generations.”

There’s no doubt that Pan Am left behind a lasting impact in the aviation industry so that  is why Trippe is also making another huge donation: $100,000 (which the museum hopes to match) to help fund the extensive preservation work required for these magnificent, historical films.

Thank you Ed Trippe for your generosity and congratulations again on the well-deserved Achievement in Aviation Award!


Written by Vanessa Guerra