"The EAA made me a millionaire. Because of the EAA, I have a million friends."
Paul had only two motivations in life. Airplanes and people. Driven by a passion for aviation he was also blessed with a compassion for people. "One must have vision, not only to the future of aviation, but vision to see what our fellow humans can and will do to overcome present-day problems. I have always felt that all progress must be accomplished by human beings. A person might just be an enthusiast today, but tomorrow could become a homebuilder, 'antiquer,' or contribute in some other part of our world. To exclude any talent would not be in the best interest of aviation."
Paul's influence in aviation can be seen today at every airport in the world. The use of composite building materials and computerized glass panels in general aviation all came out of the proving ground of the homebuilt movement. From the simplest of wood and canvas single-engine aircraft, to the men and women who labor tirelessly to keep warbirds and antiques in airworthy status, to the impressive Burt Rutan designed aircraft such as Voyager or SpaceShipOne, Paul has had a hand in inspiring all aspects of the world of flight.
Paul received dozens of major awards during his lifetime including induction into the U.S. National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Air National Guard Hall of Fame. He was awarded the first Billy Mitchell Award for Aviation Achievement in 1956 and has been honored by every significant aviation group and government authority with major awards.
Paul stayed faithful to his twin passions of aviation and people to the end. "Sometimes when I walk through our air museum, I have the feeling that it would be so nice just to put my bed in among all these planes and go to sleep with them. They are such a part of me." Paul was often heard to say, "The EAA made me a millionaire. Because of the EAA, I have a million friends."