Braniff, Thomas Elmer
- Roger E. Bilstein
Braniff, Thomas Elmer (06 December 1883–10 January 1954), airline executive, was born in Salina, Kansas, the son of John A. Braniff, a businessman, and Mary Catherine Baker. The family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where Tom and his younger brother, Paul, enrolled in public school. The Braniffs left for the Southwest around the turn of the century, when the Oklahoma Territory opened up under the Homestead Act. Braniff’s father started an insurance business, with rural homesteaders as his clients. As a teenager, Tom hit the road for his father, driving a buckboard through the dusty trails of western Oklahoma’s “Indian Country.”...