Frank Borman, U.S. Astronaut who led the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Airlines from 1975-1986, was born in Gary, Indiana, March 14, 1928. Raised in Tucson, Arizona, where he learned to fly at age 15, Borman attended U.S. Military Academy, West Point and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1950, thus beginning a 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force. He received a Masters of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1957. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recruited Borman into its astronaut program, for which Borman led the Gemini 7 (1965) and the Apollo 8 (1968) missions. In 1970, Borman retired from NASA with over 6,000 hours of in-space flight time, and the US Air Force at the rank of Colonel. As the Special Representative of President Richard Nixon, Borman visited twelve countries in Europe and the Far East in 1970 to search out information concerning missing American prisoners of war in Vietnam. Borman served as the CEO of Eastern Airlines from 1976-1986.
Borman began serving as a special advisor to Eastern Airlines in 1969. In 1970, he was named Senior Vice President of Operational Affairs, eventually earning the title of Chief Executive Officer in 1975 and Chairman of the Board by 1976. Borman used Eastern's assets to invest heavily in modern jetliners. Increased debt, and the Deregulation Act of 1978--which opened the Airline Industry to pure competition-- brought many challenges to the development and financial stability of Eastern Airlines. Borman instituted innovative and risky financial tactics to ease the effects of the deregulation policies, including profit-sharing and labor wages that were dependent upon the company's success. Borman's tactics produced the company's four most profitable years, but they also resulted in dissent among Eastern's labor unions. By 1983, as a proposed solution to Eastern's debt burden, Borman asked employees to accept pay cuts in order to keep the company running. Eastern's mechanics, represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), threatened to strike if Eastern's management followed through with this planned pay cut. Borman failed to reach an agreement with the labor unions and retired from Eastern Airlines in 1986, selling the company, 3.5 billion dollars in debt, to Texas Air executive and "corporate raider" Frank Lorenzo. Eastern was liquidated in 1991.
From the description of Frank Borman papers, 1961-1989 bulk 1980-1986. (Georgia State University). WorldCat record id: 191913531