Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin

Inducted 1998

Invented the dirigible airship, which brought the world closer to powered-flight

Founded several companies that later contributed a wide range of automotive innovations

Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin was a true innovator whose dirigibles greatly influenced the emerging automotive industry. Zeppelin underwent severe criticism from those who thought his ideas about airships were foolish. However, Zeppelin’s success with dirigibles began early and was eventually acknowledged by the public and experts alike. His drive and determination led the way in developing the modern concepts of passenger and freight transport, as well as airmail. He received several awards and honorary academic titles as a result of his airship projects. The direction outlined by Zeppelin went far beyond airships and product development. His pioneering work provides incentives for research and a variety of automotive space-age technolgies.

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Class of 1998

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