EXECUTIVES: This Plane for Hire

While studying at Chicago's Roosevelt University in the early 1960s, James L. Johnson landed a part-time job with an aircraft-financing firm and became entranced with flying. By the time he was 23, he was vice president in charge of a new leasing operation established by the finance company, which was owned by his father-in-law, Chicago Jeweler Burton Greenfield. The leasing business climbed steadily until it operated a fleet of 60 light planes out of its headquarters in Northbrook, Ill. Still, the young boss was dissatisfied. Aiming to make the company into a...

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