Corporate Angel Network (CAN), the national non-profit organization that provides free air transportation for cancer patients by using empty seats on corporate and fractional aircraft, announced today that its co-founder, Leonard M. Greene, passed away peacefully on November 30, 2006. Greene, 88, of Mamaroneck, NY, died in the presence of his family after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
A National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee with hundreds of patented inventions, many aviation-related, Greene co-founded Corporate Angel Network in 1981 along with Pat Blum, and Jay Weinberg. Greene contributed his personal foundation, business expertise, funds, and aviation contacts to the effort. On December 22, 1981, he personally flew the first Corporate Angel Network flight, bringing a patient home to Detroit for Christmas from treatment in New York City. From that day forward, Corporate Angel Network literally soared. One by one, corporations across America were asked to participate and one by one, they joined. Today, Corporate Angel Network has 530 participating corporations who generously offer their empty seats to cancer patients. CAN flies more than 2,500 cancer patients a year.
“If Elmer Sperry showed aircraft pilots the way home, it was Leonard Greene who insured 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,” commented Walter Cronkite.
Greene was a Founding Director of Corporate Angel Network and served on the Board until his death. He also served as Chairman from 1983 to 1984 and again from 1989 to 1990. He was the first to see the potential lift capacity that fractional aircraft offered for CAN patients and donated a cross country flight from his personal fractional time along with a related PR effort to jumpstart the program. Today, the number of patients that CAN helps has been increased by both donated fractional hours and CAN patients flying in empty seats along with fractional owners.
Greene was also the founder of Safe Flight Instrument Corporation, the inventor of the Stall Warning Indicator and the Wind Sheer Warning System, a life member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and held many aviation records and awards.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, December 4, at 2:00 p.m. at the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester in White Plains, NY. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions may be made to Corporate Angel Network, Inc., Westchester County Airport, One Loop Road, White Plains, NY 10604.