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Rickenbacker (1890-1973) shot down 26 enemy aircraft in seven months, receiving the Medal of Honor and the nickname, "Ace of Aces."
In 1927, he went to work for General Motors (GM) to rescue one of their divisions, Eastern Airlines. During his initial management year (1934), the airline turned the first profit in the history of aviation. GM divested the company in 1938 and Rickenbacker bought a controlling interest and became president, general manager, and director.