Former AOPA Pilot editor and AOPA Senior Vice President of Publications Edward G. Tripp, 75, died Oct. 16, at his home in Cincinnati. Tripp was born in Boston, Mass., and was a graduate of Columbia University. His long and colorful career began when he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War. Subsequently, he began flying and went on to become a commercial pilot with instrument, multiengine, glider, and helicopter ratings.
His 50-year publishing career included executive and writing positions with major industry titles: Car & Driver, Air Progress, Flying, and Business & Commercial Aviation. He was the publisher of Flying magazine’s fiftieth anniversary issue, a 1977 magazine that was the largest issue ever published in that magazine’s history. More recently, Tripp co-founded Aviation Information Services, a Ziff-Davis business unit that provided computer-based operational services, and he was a freelance writer for Air & Space/ Smithsonian magazine.
Tripp’s career at AOPA ran from 1977 to 1986, when he transformed AOPA Pilot magazine, AOPA’s Airports USA, and the AOPA Pilot’s Handbook into upscale, commercially competitive publications. Editorial and production values underwent revolutionary leaps under Tripp’s management, and he was central in inspiring his staff to produce their best. He was demanding yet fair, strove for excellence, and won numerous aviation journalism awards. He cut a wide swath in the industry, and had a commanding, charismatic presence.
Because of his involvement in aviation, and because their surnames were pronounced the same, Tripp said it was always presumed he was the son of Juan Trippe—the founder of Pan American World Airways. In fact, Tripp was the son of Salvation Army officers.
Tripp is survived by his wife, Karen, and his six children: daughters Alexandra, of State College, Pa., Pamela, of Atlanta, and Elizabeth, of New Haven, Conn.; and sons Philip, of Hendersonville, N.C., Bramwell, of Cincinnati, and Andrew, a student at DePaul University in Chicago.
Services will be held on Oct. 20 at 2 p.m., at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 10345 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242. Memorial gifts may be directed to the University of Iowa Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244-4550, or made online to support the Department of Radiology Oncology.