• Elder Statesman of Flight

    Paul Poberezny (left) and legendary broadcaster and EAA supporter Paul Harvey, in the 1980s at Oshkosh.

  • Elder Statesman of Flight

    Audrey and Paul Poberezny in the 1990s.

  • Elder Statesman of Flight

    Paul and Audrey Poberezny in 2008, in the re-creation of the original EAA basement office, now part of the EAA Founders' Wing in the organization's museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

  • Elder Statesman of Flight

    Paul Poberezny speaks to an audience at EAA's Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet in December 2010.

  • Elder Statesman of Flight

    Paul Poberezny speaking at AOPA Expo in 2008 at San Jose, California.

  • Elder Statesman of Flight

    Paul Poberezny making a grand entrance, driving in the "Red Five" replica whose use was an auction item at EAA's Gathering of Eagles fundraiser in July 2010.

  • Elder Statesman of Flight

    Paul Poberezny receives an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2004, recognizing his contributions to aviation.

  • Elder Statesman of Flight

    Paul and Audrey Poberezny drive their iconic "Red One" Volkswagen to meet the crew of the Airbus A380 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009.

Following his retirement, Paul stayed close to EAA, living with Audrey just two miles from the aviation complex his leadership had inspired. Paul served as the organization's chairman of the board until 2009. He also continued to speak and write about aviation, serving as an adviser and mentor to people ranging from top aviation group leaders and policymakers to individual aircraft builders who sought him for advice.

He also collected dozens of awards and testimonials, including honorary degrees from several universities. That included his 1999 induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio, joining legendary aviators such as Charles Lindbergh, Neil Armstrong, and the Wright brothers.

Paul also enjoyed the more relaxed life of an elder statesman, meeting hundreds of people during the annual EAA fly-in, now renamed EAA AirVenture, and at various EAA chapter functions throughout the country. Through the early 2000s, he also continued fly and to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, enjoying the same fascination with flight and machinery that drew him in as a youngster.

In 1996, Paul worked with his daughter, Bonnie, and her husband Chuck Parnall on Poberezny: The Story Begins, a biographical chronicle that described Paul and Audrey's early years, including the founding of EAA. In 2008, the Wisconsin Historical Society named him as a "Wisconsin History Maker," recognizing his unique contributions to the state's history.

Paul also kept building airplanes, perpetually having a project in progress in an area on the EAA grounds that he called the Aeroplane Factory for the remainder of his life. He also continued an impressive flow of communications with aviation enthusiasts from around the world.

After a life that included more than 70 years of flying in more than 500 different types of airplanes, Paul Poberezny left an indelible mark on aviation. 

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