A True American Innovator.

The life of Hudson Billings Drake has gone above and beyond- above the atmosphere and beyond the speed of sound, to the edge of our planet and to other worlds. Throughout his career he has worked on various projects that have contributed to the incredible innovations we have seen in avionics, the computer systems used in aircrafts, artificial satellites and spacecraft that have landed on the moon.

A background in technology as well as degrees in Economics and Business Administration were essential to Hudson’s career path. His avionics career began in 1958 at North American Aviation, which later became Boeing. During his 10-year career there, he had the opportunity to work on the flight control system of the X-15 aircraft, the fastest manned rocket plane ever. This project significantly impacted the future for America’s piloted space program. Next for Hudson was the honor of the presidential appointment as a White House Fellow in the Johnson Administration and the Nixon Administration, one of Hudson’s proudest achievements. The latter portion of his career was spent at Teledyne Inc. where he developed technology that played a key role in history-making success stories such as the Surveyor spacecraft and the Apollo Lunar Landing missions.

Philanthropy has also been high on Hudson’s list of priorities as he served on the Board of Directors for the Johnson Cancer Center Foundation of UCLA, a Trustee of Children’s Hospital of San Diego and Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego for which he has also served as Vice-Chair. Both he and his wife, Mary, have grown especially fond of the Romp Gala and take great pride in their involvement.

In recognition of such an illustrious career, Hudson is being honored for his leadership and contributions by the San Diego Air & Space Museum as part of the International Air & Space Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, the most prestigious honor for the aeronautics industry. The momentous event on November 9th has honored more than 200 of the world’s most significant aviation pilots, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, preservationists, designers and space pioneers.

“Hudson B. Drake was a legendary game-changer for more than four decades in the diverse but equally important fields of aerospace, defense and electronics,” Jim Kidrick, President and CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum shared with Giving Back Magazine. “He was known within the industry for his superb team-culture development and his leadership guaranteed results, on-time, every time! Still advising the industry today, Hudson is a consummate professional and sought after on matters requiring a keen business acumen.”

Join guests from around the world and join the honorees for a spectacular evening of fun and extraordinary recognition, as each attendee is offered an experiential peek into the lives of these air and space legends.