William E. Boeing (October 1, 1881 - September 28, 1956) was the aviation pioneer who founded the Boeing Company.
He was born in Detroit, Michigan to a wealthy timber merchant.
While president of Greenwood Logging Company, Boeing travelled to Seattle, where during the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909, Boeing saw a manned flying machine for the first time and became fascinated with aircraft.
In 1916, Boeing founded Pacific Aero Products. When America entered the First World War in April 1917, Boeing changed the name of Pacific Aero Products to Boeing Airplane Company and obtained orders from the United States Navy for 50 planes. At the end of the war, Boeing began to concentrate on commercial aircraft, secured contracts to supply airmail service and built a successful airmail operation.
In 1934, the United States government accused him of monopolistic practices. He was ordered to break up his company into three separate entities: United Aircraft Company, Boeing Airplane Company, and United Air Lines.
Boeing retired from the aircraft industry in 1934. He spent the remainder of his years in property development and thoroughbred horse breeding.