WWI ACE PRESIDENT EASTERN AIR LINES RICKENBACKER MANAGER SECY LETTER SIGNED 1960 For Sale
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WWI ACE PRESIDENT EASTERN AIR LINES RICKENBACKER MANAGER SECY LETTER SIGNED 1960:
MARGUERITE “SHEPPY” SHEPHERD
Sheppy Shepherd (left) with Amelia Earhart at the Pittsburgh airport en route to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 500 Mile Race, May 29, 1935. At right –photo of Shepherd with Rickenbacker at his Eastern Air Lines desk on Oct. 13, 1963.
(1894 - 1983)
OFFICE MANAGER, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, and ACCOUNTANT TO THE “ACE OF ACES” EDDIE RICKENBACKER, WWI ACE, DAREDEVIL RACE CAR DRIVER, AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEER, AIR TRANSPORT PIONEER, US GOVERNMENT MILITARY CONSULTANT and PRESIDENT OF EASTERN AIR LINES–SERVING THE ACE FOR 50 YEARS FROM 1923 TO HIS DEATH IN 1973
Shepherd was with Rickenbacker during all the ups and downs of his illustrious career. Shepherd was hired while Rickenbacker was part of the Rickenbacker Motor Company. According to Rickenbacker biographer W. David Lewis, "...he asked the company for a new secretary who had a strong work ethic and was not contemplating matrimony in the near future...the company hired Marguerite Shepherd, a Canadian whom he soon called "Sheppy." Her work was so outstanding that he promoted her to office manager and accountant for himself and Adelaide. She became almost like a member of the Rickenbacker family."
HERE’S A LETTER SIGNED BY SHEPHERD ON “EASTERN AIR LINES” LETTERHEAD, 1p., DATED AT NEW YORK CITY, SEPT. 29, 1960 TO VICTOR G. PHANEUF AT HOLYOKE, MA RE CAPTAIN RICKENBACKER’S AUTOGRAPHED PHOTOGRAPH…
The document measures 7¼” x 10½” and is in VF condition.
A FINE COLLATERAL ADDITION TO YOUR AMERICAN AVIATION HISTORY AUTOGRAPH, MANUSCRIPT & EPHEMERA COLLECTION.
BIOGRAPHY OF MARGUERITE SHEPHERD:Assistant to “Ace of Aces” Eddie Rickenbacker
Marguerite “Sheppy” Shepherd (1894-1983) wasthe longtime personal assistant to ‘Ace of Aces’ Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973), a World War I fighter pilot, race car driver, automotive designer, government consultant in military matters, air transport pioneer, and longtime head of Eastern Air Lines.
Ms. Shepherd was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and, in 1923, becameRickenbacker’s secretary at theRickenbackerMotor Car Company in Detroit, Michigan. In later years, she became his executive secretary at Cadillac Motor Company, Fokker Aircraft Company, American Airways, and Eastern Air Lines. Shepherd was for many years a member of the Seraphic Secretaries of America and the Women’s Traffic Club of Greater New York.
By the time Ms. Shepherd became Rickenbacker’s secretary, he was already had a well-established reputation as daredevil par none, but he was also on his way to going bankrupt. He had started the Rickenbacker Motor Company in 1920, selling technologically advanced cars incorporating innovations from auto racing. Probably due to bad publicity from other car manufacturers who feared the competition for their inventory of two-wheel braking autos, the company had trouble selling its cars and eventually went bankrupt in 1927. Rickenbacker went into massive debt but was determined to pay back the $250,000 he owed, despite personally going bankrupt. Eventually, all vehicles manufactured in the U.S. incorporated his four-wheel braking.
Rickenbacker’s career did not want for adventure with at least two near death mishaps, the bold purchase of Eastern Airlines for $3.5 million in 1938 (also $60M in today’s dollars), and a World-War II era fact-finding trip into Russia for the U.S. War Department, and more. Ms. Shepherd was with him during the ups and the downs of his career.
Shepherd’s papers contain Rickenbacker’s business correspondence; photographs of Shepherd,Rickenbacker, Eastern Air Lines events and personnel, and tributes toRickenbacker; and programs, speeches, newspaper clippings, and other printed material about Eastern Air Lines. There are also books and magazines by and aboutRickenbacker and scripts for radio interviews with Shepherd regarding her secretarial career and her membership in the Seraphic Secretaries of America.
Source: American Heritage Center’s Simpson Archivist Leslie Waggener. Posted on January 11, 2021 by ahcadmin
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