R.I.P. Herb Kelleher


Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines, passed away today.

I had the pleasure of meeting Herb several times over the last 11 years. My first experience meeting him was shortly after I started with the Company. He was at a speaking engagement in our Flight Operations Training Center, where he proceeded to smoke two packs of cigarettes—indoors, mind you—in the span of an hour. After speaking, he enthusiastically took a moment to chat with me and take a picture. Over the years, he’d enthusiastically say hello to every Employee that he saw, famously remembering many of their names.

It’s not Wild Turkey, but I’ll be toasting Herbie with a glass of 101 proof bourbon this evening.


  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,069
    Sorry to see that -- he was quite a guy.
  • MilitoMilito Posts: 370
    I always heard good things about him in the DFW area.
    Yamaha RX-A2070, Outlaw 5000, VTF-2 MK5, Signature S55, S30, Sony BPD-S3200, Technics PD867, Audio-Technica AT-LP60, AudioQuest Type 4 Speaker Cable, AudioQuest Black Mamba II Interconnects, Furman PL-8C 15 Power Conditioner, Cullen Gold Power Cable, Sony 65" 900F.
  • John MegadethJohn Megadeth Posts: 2,112
    This is a great episode of High I Built That that featured Herb. Give it a listen:

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,069
    edited January 9
    Yes, indeed.

    In fact, it was re-run this past weekend on NPR (well, at least, on our local NPR outlet). He was surprisingly, impressively down-to-earth without being coarse. I loved hearing him talk about offering his legal support to the company's investors pro bono as he/they fought the then-extant regulatory system to (literally) get Southwest off the ground.

    Most of the early "discount airlines" bit the dust quickly (remember PeopleExpress?), but Southwest not only survived, Southwest prospered and changed the industry.
  • John MegadethJohn Megadeth Posts: 2,112
    100%. It was always fun walking with him into the building in the mornings (we parked near each other). He truly was a revolutionary figure for not only the airline industry, but also the global corporate environment.
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