On October 26, 1898, Lloyd Stearman was born in Wellsville, Kansas. As a college student he attended Kansas State College in Manhattan, Kansas and studied engineering and architecture. Upon enlisting in the U.S. Navy Reserve in San Diego, California, Stearman learned to fly Curtis N-9 seaplanes.
During the mid-1920’s Matty Laird, designer of the Laird Swallow airplane, hired Lloyd as a mechanic, giving him his first exposure to airplane manufacturing. In 1925, Lloyd and Walter Beech teamed up with Clyde Cessna to form the Travel Air manufacturing Company, where he remained until 1927, when he left to form his own manufacturing company. It was there that he built the Stearman C-2B and C-3B, and designed other bi-winged models for mail and cargo delivery, observation and training.
In the early 1930’s, Lloyd became president of Lockheed Aircraft Company and designed agricultural aircraft. In 1948 more than 4,345 Stearman aircraft were used in agricultural flying.
In recognition of his contributions to the aircraft industry, Lloyd Stearman was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio in July of 1989.