Awards & Winners

Kelly Johnson

Date of Birth 27-February-1910
Place of Birth Ishpeming
(Marquette County, Michigan, United States of America)
Nationality United States of America
Also know as Clarence Leonard "Kelly" Johnson, Clarence Leonard Johnson
Profession Engineer, Aerospace Engineer
Clarence Leonard "Kelly" Johnson was an American system engineer and aeronautical innovator. He earned renown for his contributions to many noteworthy aircraft designs, especially the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes, but also including the P-38 Lightning, P-80 Shooting Star, and F-104 Starfighter, among others. As a member and first team leader of the Lockheed Skunk Works, Johnson worked for more than four decades and is said to have been an "organizing genius". He played a leading role in the design of over forty aircraft, including several honored with the prestigious Collier Trophy, acquiring a reputation as one of the most talented and prolific aircraft design engineers in the history of aviation. In 2003, as part of its commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' flight, Aviation Week & Space Technology ranked Johnson 8th on its list of the top 100 "most important, most interesting, and most influential people" in the first century of aerospace. Hall Hibbard, Johnson's Lockheed boss, referring to Johnson's Swedish ancestry once remarked to Ben Rich: "That damned Swede can actually see air."

Awards by Kelly Johnson

Check all the awards nominated and won by Kelly Johnson.


National Medal of Technology and Innovation
(For his outstanding achievements in the design of a series of commercial, military, and reconnaissance aircraft that incorporated a wide range of technological advancements, and for his innovative management techniques which helped develop and produce these aircraft in record time and at a minimum cost.)


National Medal of Science for Engineering
(For bold innovations in the use of materials and in the design of aircraft of unusual configurations that pioneered new vistas for the possibility of flight.)