Najeeb Halaby (left) with David Hinson, his successor as chairman of the ASF Board of Visitors (1997 photo).
Najeeb Halaby, chairman emeritus of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Board of Visitors, died Wednesday at his home in suburban Washington, D.C. He was 87.
"From naval aviator to FAA administrator to CEO of Pan Am, Najeeb Halaby had several lifetimes' worth of aviation experience and wisdom," said ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. "He was passionate about aviation safety. His suggestions were invaluable in developing ASF resources and programs."
Halaby served as Board of Visitors chairman from 1995 until 1997, continuing a career that spanned all aspects of aviation.
He was a naval aviator and test pilot, helping test the nation's first jet aircraft, the Bell P-59. He helped organize the U.S. Navy's test pilot school at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.
He co-chaired President Eisenhower's commission that shaped the Federal Aviation Administration out of the Civil Aeronautics Administration and served as FAA administrator under John F. Kennedy. After leaving the FAA, he was hand-picked by Pan American World Airways founder Juan Trippe to take over the airline.
Halaby is survived by his wife, Libby Cater Halaby; three children from his first marriage, Lisa, who became Queen Noor when she married King Hussein of Jordan, Christian, and Alexa; and 14 grandchildren.