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The Lindbergh Foundation Believes that Innovative Science and Technology Hold the Key to Addressing Humanity’s Environmental and Productivity Challenges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: 

David Treinis
307.413.2266
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Lindbergh Foundation Announces Lindbergh Awardees

Legendary Aviator and Inventor Forrest Bird and
Aviator and Philanthropist James C. Ray to Accept Awards during Sun ’n Fun

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. (Jan. 19, 2012) — Today, The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation announced the recipients of two prominent awards, which will be presented at a celebration at the Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida on March 29 during the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In.

Legendary inventor Forrest Bird has been selected to receive the 2012 Lindbergh Award and businessman-philanthropist James C. Ray has been named recipient of the Spirit Award.

“2012 is a significant year since we are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Lindbergh Foundation as well as the 85th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s New York-to-Paris flight,” said Lindbergh Foundation Chairman and CEO Larry Williams.  “We are particularly pleased and honored to be recognizing such exceptional aviators as Dr. Forrest Bird and James C. Ray with Lindbergh Awards during this historic year. I speak for our Board, Staff and supporters when I offer my heartfelt congratulations to these accomplished gentlemen in joining a long and distinguished list of Lindbergh awardees.”

Dr. Forrest Bird

Dr. Bird will receive the Lindbergh Award, which is bestowed annually upon an individual whose life’s work demonstrates a balance between technology, our environment and the quality of all life on earth.

Meeting Orville Wright, along with encouragement from his father who was a WWI pilot, led Bird to his first solo flight at age 14.  He soon began working on multiple pilot certifications which eventually led to service in the U.S. Army Air Corps beginning in 1941.  During WWII, he piloted nearly every aircraft in service, including early jet aircraft and helicopters.

Noting similarities between air flowing over the wings of an airplane and air moving through the lungs, Bird created the earliest versions of the now-prolific “Bird Respirator” for high-altitude flight and hospitals. Bird respirators freed polio victims from the confinement of the iron lung and were the first mass-produced respirators in the world.  Physicians of the time claimed:  “A machine is never going to breathe for you!”  Bird proved them wrong and the start of the respiratory industry was created.

As the pioneer of the industry, Dr. Bird created his “Babybird,” a ventilator made specifically for premature infants and small children.  This invention is credited with reducing the rate of breathing-related infant mortality from 70 percent to 10 percent worldwide. Heart, lung and kidney transplants could not happen without the use of a respirator.  Bird has created more than 40 different respirators that continue to be the predominant choice of hospitals, aviators, firefighters and others.

“It is a great honor to receive the Lindbergh Award,” said Bird.  “I remember meeting Mr. Lindbergh when I was a child.  He was an amazing individual who has made great contributions to society in aviation and innovation.  When I was a child, Mr. Lindbergh was a role model.  I was fascinated by his, as well as his wife's, accomplishments.  Mr. Lindbergh planted a seed in my mind.  That seed has been cultivated.”

In addition to being inducted into of the Inventor’s Hall of Fame, Dr. Bird received the 2008 Presidential Citizens Medal from President George Bush.  In 2009, President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for his “outstanding contributions to the promotion of technology for the improvement of the economic, environmental or social well-being of the United States.”

“Dr. Bird’s pioneering and life-saving medical inventions make him especially deserving of the Lindbergh Award.  Few people realize that Charles Lindbergh also was very interested and successful in medical innovations, having helped developed the Perfusion (artificial heart) Pump with Dr. Alexis Carrell,” noted Award Committee Chairman David Treinis.

Bird and his wife Pam live on Lake Pend d’Oreille in northern Idaho where they support aviation history and education through the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center.  They also both fly various aircraft from their private runway.

James C. Ray

James C. Ray, pilot, businessman, and philanthropist, has been selected to receive the 2012 Lindbergh Spirit Award.  This award is given every five years for pioneering achievements in an aviation career with the spirit and character that represents the best of this nation.

While working in Hawaii as a steelworker for the Navy, Ray was an eyewitness to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and flew a total of 30 B-17 missions from Rattlesden, England, including raids on German factories, and was a lead pilot on a D-Day attack on enemy headquarters in Normandy, France.  Additionally, Ray served with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict.

After the war, Ray flew his Cessna 170B on business and personal trips that took him to 58 countries and every Caribbean island with a landing strip.  He has accumulated more than 3,500 hours in single-pilot Citation jets flying across North America as a rancher, oil and gas explorer, and real estate developer.

A successful businessman, Ray has provided start-up funding for more than 300 businesses including Compaq Computer, Eclipse Aviation and Cirrus Design.  He believes the discipline and skill he obtained during flight training helped him become successful in business and conversely applies lessons learned in business to his flying.

Ray’s philanthropy is predominantly dedicated to aviation-oriented youth education programs.  He made a significant contribution for the building of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy on the grounds of Sun ’n Fun.  The James C. Ray Scholarship Fund was established to offer financial support for Polk County High School merit students.  Ray also provides financial support to the Experimental Aircraft Association and its Young Eagles program; the University of North Dakota Aerospace programs; the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington; and the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour in Everett, Washington.  In 2009, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of North Dakota.

“We believe that Mr. Ray’s interest in supporting both innovative education and business ventures at an early stage of development, particularly to advance solutions for air and pilot safety, is uniquely aligned with the philosophy behind the Spirit Award,” noted Treinis.

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About The Lindbergh Foundation

The Lindbergh Foundation is a public 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, based in Anoka, Minnesota, which focuses on technological breakthroughs to address significant aviation-environmental issues. The Lindbergh Foundation also values individual initiative and accomplishments.  Its programs are devoted to supporting, honoring, and educating individuals, through three major programs:  the annual Lindbergh Award, presented to individuals for significant contributions toward balancing nature and scientific innovation in their work; the Lindbergh Grants program, which provides grants in amounts up to $10,580 (the cost of building the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927) for research or education projects that will make important contributions to the technology/environment balance; and a variety of educational events including the new Aviation Green Alliance.


Press Releases

2012

Lindbergh Award Event

1/19/12 - Lindbergh Foundation Announces Lindbergh Awardees

General

10/30/12 - Lindbergh Foundation Announces AGA Awareness Campaign

10/30/12 - Lindbergh Foundation Announces Aviation Partners Boeing as Corporate Awardee

4/20/12 - BRS Aerospace Joins Aviation Green Alliance

4/20/12 - Lindbergh Prize for Innovation Given to e-volo

BRS Aerospace Joins Aviation Green Alliance
as a Founding MemberBRS Aerospace Joins Aviation Green Allianceas a Founding Member

3/28/12 - Sikorsky Joins Aviation Green Alliance

3/27/12 - Lindbergh Foundation Celebrates 35th Anniversary with Astronauts Armstrong, Lovell & Cernan
2/15/12 - FedEx Corporation Joins Aviation Green Alliance

2011

General
11/08/11 - Pribyl and Stangarone Join Lindbergh Foundation Board of Directors
10/10/11 - Jeppesen Joins Aviation Green Alliance
4/04/11 - Lindbergh Foundation Announces First Aviation Green Alliance Founder
3/30/11 - Walsh and Koenig Join Lindbergh Foundation Board of Directors
2/03/11 - Lindbergh Foundation to Lead Aviation Green Alliance

Lindbergh Award Event
3/28/11 - WASPs and Astronaut to Attend Lindbergh Award Celebration
2/14/11 - Lindbergh Foundation Announces Winners of 34th Annual Awards

2010

General
11/04/10 - Lindbergh Foundation Sponsors Forum at AOPA
8/26/2010 - Lindbergh Grant Awarded to Stephanie Mixson - Project Focuses on Saltwater Algae as Biofuel Source
7/29/10 - Lindbergh Foundation Named as Beneficiary of Lightspeed Aviation Foundation
7/26/10 - Sean Tucker and Kermit Weeks Join Lindbergh Foundation Board
4/13/10 - Lindbergh Foundation Announces 2010 Lindbergh Grant Recipients
2/18/10 - News Release - Lindbergh Foundation Donates Airplane to Kenya Wildlife Service

Lindbergh Award Event
4/09/10 - Turn Tax-Day Blues into Aviation Green During Lindbergh Foundation Day at Sun ‘n Fun
4/06/10 - African Safari, Aerobatics, & the Kings -- Oh, My!  Bidding for Lindbergh Foundation On-Line Auction Begins
3/11/10 - Jack Pelton and FedEx to Receive Lindbergh Awards

2009

General
11/05/09 - Press Release - Lindbergh Foundation Partners with Rich Sugden to Donate Husky to Kenya Wildlife Service
10/06/09 - Larry Williams Elected Chairman/President & CEO
06/15/09 - Spirit of St. Louis Rides Create Memories
06/03/09 - Kate Dougherty Joins Lindbergh Foundation Board of Directors
04/22/09 - Lindbergh Foundation Announces 2009 Lindbergh Grant Recipients at Sun 'n Fun
04/17/09 - Lindbergh Foundation to Premiere New Film at Sun 'n Fun -- Over Africa! Low and Slow

Lindbergh Award Event
04/21/09 - Terry and Mary Kohler to Receive Lindbergh Award
04/08/09 - The Spirit Flies Again Through the Lindbergh Foundation's On-Line Silent Auction
02/04/09 - Lindbergh Foundation Announces 2009 Lindbergh Awardees: Lester Brown and Terry and Mary Kohler

2008

General
10/2/08 - Technology and Innovation are Key to Making Aviation Safe, Enjoyable & More Fuel Efficient
9/15/08 - Lindbergh Foundation Announces Featured Speakers for "Spectrum of Aviaition" Hangar Party
9/12/08 - Lindbergh-Lycoming Aviation Grant Applications Accepted Until Oct. 30
9/08/08 - Lindbergh Foundation to Hold "Spectrum of Aviation" Hangar Party
7/30/08 - Stanford Financial Group Joins Aviation Green Investment Program

EAA Announcements
8/04/08 - Lindbergh Foundation Partners with the Patty Wagstaff/Kenya Wildlife Service
7/31/08 - Lindbergh-Lycoming Grant Awarded to Ganesh Raman
7/29/08 - Lindbergh Foundation and Orvis Announce Aviation-Themed Clothing Line
7/28/08 - Lindbergh-Lycoming Grant Applications Accepted until October 30

Lindbergh Award Event
06/12/08 - Lindbergh Awardees Focus on Environmental Stewardship and "Going Green"
04/30/08 - Lindbergh Foundation Offers Rare Collectibles and Aviation Activities in Global Online Auction
02/12/08 - Ted Turner and The Jacoby Group to Receive Lindbergh Awards

2007

General
12/06/07 - Aviation Green Investment Program Announced
11/27/07 - Larry Williams, President of BRS, Inc., Joins Board
10/09/07 - John King Elected to serve as Chairman of the Board

NBAA Announcements

09/26/07 - Linden Blue Joins Foundation Board; "Lindbergh Partners" Program and Other New Board members Announced; Ed Bolen Recognized for NBAA Chairities Gift

EAA Announcements
07/25/07 - Lindbergh-Lycoming Grant Award to Thomas Ehresman
07/25/07 - Lindbergh-Lycoming Grant Partnership Set for a Third Year
07/25/07 - First Lindbergh-Lycoming Grant Recipient Reports Significant Progress
07/25/07 - Lindbergh-Lycoming Grant Applications Accepted Until Nov. 1

Lindbergh Award Event
02/13/07 - Lindbergh Foundation to Honor Fay, Cernan and Susanka
04/17/07 - Lindbergh Award Celebration Honors Dr. Fay, Cernan and Susanka; Google to Receive Corporate Award for Balance; Silent Auction and Book Signing Also Planned
06/08/07 - Four Lindbergh Awardees Reflect on Living Life on Earth

2006

Lindbergh Award Event
1/31/06 - Foundation Presents Lindbergh Award to Peter Diamandis and Will Steger
5/16/06 - Patagonia, Inc. Receives First-Ever Corporate Award for Balance
6/14/06 - Aviation and the Environment Find Common Ground

Grants Program

7/28/06 - Lindbergh-Lycoming Grant Established

2005

Minnesota Events
6/9/05 - Burt Rutan and Other Aviation Legends Inspire Crowd
2/14/05 - Lindbergh Foundation to Host Two Events in Minnesota

News Release - Lindbergh Foundation Donates Airplane to Kenya Wildlife Service

2004

General
11/3/04 - Historic Space Flight Unites Past and Present

 
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Foundation Background

The Lindbergh Foundation is a public non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, based in Minnesota, which supports great innovations that foster the environment to keep the planet in balance.

The Lindbergh Foundation accomplishes its mission through three major programs:

The Lindbergh Award ~ Annually, the Foundation presents its honorary Lindbergh Award for individuals who have made significant contributions toward the balance between technology and the environment, in their work.
Lindbergh Grants ~ in amounts up to $10,580 (the cost of building the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927), are given to individuals whose proposed research or education projects will make important contributions to the technology/environment balance;
Educational Programs and Publications ~ centered on the balance theme.

One of the Lindbergh Foundation’s core values is to honor individual initiative and accomplishment in researchers, scientists, and explorers. In doing so, the Lindberghs, who were each outstanding individual contributors to society – through aviation, writing, and environmental conservation, are also honored. Unquestionably, Charles Lindbergh is best known for his historic New York-to-Paris flight in the Spirit of St. Louis. It is much less known that the Lindberghs held a unique perspective on the Earth stemming from Charles’ boyhood growing up on the banks of the Mississippi River outside Little Falls, Minn., his barnstorming days in the early 1920s, and the survey flights around the world he and Anne pioneered in the 1930s. Over the years, the Lindberghs witnessed enormous changes in the land, sky and water in the name of progress. Their concern for the environment became the basis upon which the Foundation was established.

Friends of the Lindberghs at The Explorers Club in New York City established the organization in 1977 (the 50th anniversary year of Charles Lindbergh’s historic New York-to-Paris flight). General James H. Doolittle and Astronaut Neil Armstrong led the national fund raising campaign for the fledgling organization.

Fact Sheets

Mission (pdf)
Grants Program Fact Sheet (pdf)
Award Program Fact Sheet (pdf)

 

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