Flying Tiger Line Chairman and World War 2 Hero Wayne Hoffman Dies at 89
Wayne Melvin Hoffman, retired chairman of Flying Tiger Line and Tiger International, died at his Indian Wells, California home on March 31. He was 89. His wife of 66 years, Laura, and other members of his family were by his side.
Hoffman was born on March 9, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois. During World War 2 he served as a Captain with the 1st Infantry Division at Omaha Beach on D-Day, across France, at the Battle of Bulge and in Germany. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. After the war he returned to Chicago, got married and resumed his education at the University of Illinois where he was awarded a JD degree.
After graduation, he began a successful legal career as a railroad attorney in Chicago. In 1956 he moved to New York where he rose to Executive VP at the New York Central Railroad.
He had a lifetime passion for flying and in 1967 became CEO of Flying Tiger Line, then the world’s largest cargo airline. Later he was co-founder and CEO of Tiger International. During his 19 years at Flying Tigers, it grew to $2.5 billion in revenues and was sold to FedEx in 1986.
Hoffman retired to Indian Wells and served many years on the board of the Eisenhower Medical Center, the MacCallum Theater and the Palm Springs Aerospace Museum.
He is survived by Laura, with whom he recently celebrated their 66th anniversary. He leaves three children, Philip Hoffman, Karen Embree and Kristin Dwyer, eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10 at Forest Lawn, 69855 E. Ramon Road, Cathedral City CA. A reception for attendees will follow.