Leonard M. Greene, co-founder with Pat Blum and Jay Weinberg of the Corporate Angel Network in 1981, died Nov. 30. He was 88.
Corporate Angel Network is a non-profit organization that provides free air transportation for cancer patients, utilizing empty seats on corporate and fractional aircraft. It is ironic that Greene’s death was caused by cancer.
A National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee with hundreds of patented inventions, many aviation-related, Greene contributed his personal foundation, business expertise, funds, and aviation contacts to the establishment of CAN. On Dec. 22, 1981, he piloted the first CAN mission, flying a patient home for Christmas in Detroit from treatment in New York City. Greene asked corporations across America to participate and today 530 participating corporations offer empty seats to more than 2,500 cancer patients a year.
Greene was the founder of Safe Flight Instrument Corp., the inventor of the stall warning indicator and wind shear warning system, and a life member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He held many aviation records and awards.
“If Elmer Sperry showed aircraft pilots the way home, it was Leonard Greene who ensured our safe arrival,” said Senator John Glenn. “There is scarcely a flying machine built today that does not include his devices to enhance safety, and surely thousands of lives have been saved through their use,” added Walter Cronkite, at a memorial service on Dec. 4.