John Leland Atwood (1904-1999) received a BS in civil engineering from the University of Texas in 1928, and started his aviation career as a junior airplane engineer with the Army Air Corps at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio. In 1930, Atwood left that position to become a design engineer with Douglas Aircraft Company. In 1934, Atwood left Douglas to join North American Aviation (NAA) as chief engineer and vice president. Atwood continued to play a seminal leadership role throughout his career at NAA until his retirement from North American Rockwell Corporation as chief executive officer in 1970. The NAA aircraft produced under Atwood's engineering leadership include: T-6 Texan; F-51 Mustang; B-25 Mitchell; F-86 Sabrejet; F-100 Super Sabre; B-45 Tornado; RA-5C Vigilante; X-15; and the XB-70. Atwood also played key roles in NAA's aerospace ventures, including providing key leadership for the government - industry team which accomplished the Apollo missions.