De Seversky, Alexander

De Seversky, Alexander (Prokofieff)

(1894–1974) airplane manufacturer; born in Tiflis, Russia A Russian war hero in World War I, he flew more than 50 combat missions after he had lost a leg. An assistant naval attaché at the Russian embassy in Washington, he decided to stay in the U.S.A. following the Russian Revolution. He founded Seversky Aero Corporation (1922), which became Republic Aviation (1939), and designed bombsights and landing gear for seaplanes and flying boats. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen (1927) and wrote Victory Through Air Power (1942), controversial at the time for arguing that the Allies could win World War II primarily through air superiority.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.