Ross Perot Jr Named Recipient of 2023 Whitman Trophy

Record-setting aviator awarded for significant and impactful support of U.S. military service members.

Washington, DC, September 18, 2023 – The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) is pleased to announce that Mr. Ross Perot, Jr. has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 Bruce Whitman Memorial Trophy.

Perot is being honored for his commitment to preserving, recognizing, and sharing the impact of America’s military heroes for the inspiration of aviators to come.

A native of Dallas, graduate of Vanderbilt University, and former USAF Air Force fighter pilot, Perot is also the first person to circumnavigate the world in a helicopter. Not long after his historic flight in 1982, he served as Chair of the Air Force Memorial Foundation and led a 14-year effort to build the United States Air Force Memorial in Washington, DC. The enduring structure pays tribute to the men and women of the USAF and its predecessor organizations. In October 2006, the Memorial was dedicated to the nation. In addition, Perot is the dreamer and developer of Perot Field Fort Worth Alliance Airport, which is home to a vast array of flight services and serves as the cornerstone of one of the nation’s largest inland ports.

A passionate humanitarian and devoted public servant, Perot serves on several association Boards including the US Chamber of Commerce, the Hoover Institution, and is an Emeritus Board member of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Recognizing Perot’s impact on aviation, his name was put forth by the NAA Board Chair and was enthusiastically approved by the NAA Executive Committee. “Over the years, Ross has contributed mightily to our industry, as a record-setter, a pioneer, and as a supporter of so many causes that seek to inspire future generations while venerating the past,” said NAA Chair Jim Albaugh. “I know Bruce would enthusiastically endorse his selection as this year’s recipient.”

Established in 2019 by the NAA Board of Directors, the Bruce Whitman Memorial Trophy honors outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to aviation or aerospace in the United States, and who by working with museums and other institutions have promoted an appreciation by students and the broader public of the sacrifices and legacy of members of the military service. Created in honor of the aerospace executive and philanthropist bearing its name, Bruce was posthumously named as the first recipient of the trophy 2019.

“It’s an honor to receive the FAI Whitman Trophy, an award that embodies the spirit of aviation and its profound impact on society,” said Ross Perot, Jr. “Just as the Wright Brothers’ legacy lives on, so does our commitment to inspire future generations to reach for the skies.”

Mr. Perot will receive the Whitman Award at the FAI Awards Dinner Presented by Gulfstream Aerospace on October 25th in Dayton, Ohio. Limited seating for the dinner is available. To purchase seats, please visit the event website.

The National Aeronautic Association is a non-profit membership organization devoted to fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. NAA is the caretaker of some of the most important aviation awards in the world and certifies all national aviation records set in the United States. For information, visit