William Stuart Symington
(; June 26, 1901 – December 14, 1988) was a businessman and political figure from Missouri
. He served as the first Secretary of the Air Force
from 1947 to 1950 and was a Democratic United States Senator
from Missouri from 1953 to 1976.
Education and business career
Symington was born in Amherst, Massachusetts
, and grew up in Baltimore
, Maryland. He graduated from Yale University
in 1923. At Yale he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon
fraternity (Phi chapter), the Elihu senior society
, and served on the board of the Yale Daily News
. During World War I
, Symington enlisted in the United States Army
at the age of 17 and was later commissioned as a second lieutenant
and discharged at that same rank.
In 1923, Symington went to work for an uncle in the shops of the Symington Company of Rochester, New York
, manufacturers of malleable iron products. Two years later he formed Eastern Clay Products but in 1927 returned to the Symington Company as executive assistant to the President.
Symington resigned in 1930 to become President of the Colonial Radio Corporation. In January 1935, he accepted the presidency of Rustless Iron and Steel Corporation (manufacturers of stainless steel
) but remained a director of Colonial Radio Corporation.
When Rustless Iron and Steel Corporation was sold to the American Rolling Mill Company
in 1937, Symington resigned and in 1938 accepted the presidency of Emerson Electric Company
in St. Louis, Missouri
. During World War II he... Read More