Founder of Israeli aerospace industry dies at 94

AP News
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Posted: Jun 11, 2011 12:33 PM
Founder of Israeli aerospace industry dies at 94

The founder of Israel's aerospace industry, Adolph Schwimmer, who smuggled planes out of the U.S. to help in the war surrounding Israel's 1948 creation, has died. He was 94.

The New York native was tasked with building a homegrown aerospace industry for the new state of Israel. His efforts grew into the state-run Israel Aerospace Industries.

Schwimmer's wife, Rina, said Saturday her husband's contributions to Israeli society were "heroic." She said he died late Friday of complications from pneumonia.

Schwimmer was convicted in the U.S. in 1950 of violating the Neutrality Act by exporting aircraft to Israel during its independence war. He never served time in prison and was pardoned by former President Bill Clinton in 2000.