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15 April 2010

Joe Smith: Speaker of the House Unveils James Smith McDonnell, Jr. as the Newest Addition to Hall of Famous Missourians

This week, Speaker of the House Ron Richard unveiled the newest bronze bust sculpture in the Missouri State Capitol

James Smith McDonnell, Jr. of the McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) Corporation was chosen to be included in the Hall of Famous Missourians. Mr. McDonnell was chosen because of his expertise, business development and dedication to his craft. In the mid-1900’s, he emerged as one of the world’s most successful aerospace industrialists. James Smith McDonnell, Jr. was an aviation pioneer and one of the preeminent aerospace industrialists of the twentieth century. In July of 1939, McDonnell chose St. Louis for his manufacturing base and incorporated McDonnell Aircraft Corp. Within the next several decades, his company became the leading producer of jet fighters, built the first spacecraft to carry an American into orbit and became the largest employer in the state of Missouri. McDonnell Aircraft Corp. expanded its operation in 1967 and merged with California's largest employer, Douglas Aircraft Corp.

McDonnell’s bronze bust was sculpted by Missouri artist, Sabra Tull Meyer. Meyer, who has been creating bronze sculptures for over thirty years, is a native Missourian, holding a Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts Degrees from the University of Missouri. She created the Lewis and Clark Monument in Missouri’s Capitol Complex and has sculpted a number of busts found in the Hall of Famous Missourians, in addition to several other sites across the state.

In the unveiling ceremony that took place Monday, historians, legislators, Missourians and the McDonnell family joined together in welcoming the newest addition to the Hall of Famous Missourians. McDonnell’s bronze bust sculpture will now stand among some of the most influential contributors of our state’s rich history.

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