William A. Patterson

President of United Airlines from 1934 until 1966

William A. "Pat" Patterson (October, 1899 — June 13, 1980) was the president of United Airlines from 1934 to 1966.


  • When you have an idea, hang on to it. It's the most valuable thing in the world. Nurture it. Test it. And remember: you can grow a toadstool overnight, but it takes time to grow an oak.
  • I was engaged in what I believe to be the most thrilling industry in the world — aviation. My heart still leaps when I see a tiny two-seater plane soaring gracefully through the sky. Our great airlines awe me. Yet I know they were not produced in a day or a decade.
  • It may take years to put your idea into action. But if it has real worth, time will prove it, and you will have something that will endure.

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