Ex-Lockheed Chairman Daniel Haughton, 75, Dies
Former Lockheed Corp. Chairman Daniel J. Haughton, who resigned in 1976 amid disclosures of massive international payoffs and internal financial crises, died Sunday in Marietta, Ga., of complications from heart and gall bladder surgery, the company announced Monday. He was 75.
Haughton was chairman of the aircraft manufacturing company from 1967 until his retirement. He had served as executive vice president and president before becoming chairman, and he oversaw development of such airplanes as the U-2 and SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, the C-5 military transport and the L-1011 commercial jetliner.
Haughton acquired the nickname “Uncle Dan” for his patriarchal management style.
Thousands of Lockheed employees and their families crowded the Los Angeles Convention Center in 1971 for a “Day With Dan” to express their appreciation for his leadership.
Although when Haughton resigned Lockheed owed banks about $600 million in loans, he also will be remembered for saving the aircraft manufacturing giant from a major financial crisis in the early 1970s.
After Rolls-Royce went bankrupt while developing the engines for Lockheed’s L-1011, he persuaded the British government to take over Rolls-Royce and continue the engine program. Haughton arranged a $750-million credit package and pledged Lockheed assets as collateral in convincing the U.S. government to guarantee a $250-million commercial loan from a group of banks.
Aviation Week magazine in 1971 honored Haughton for “his indefatigable, courteous, frank and successful campaign to keep his corporation afloat on the stormiest financial and technical waters this industry has ever seen.”
But only a few years later Haughton and Lockheed President A. Karl Kotchian, who also resigned, were under grand jury scrutiny for authorizing undercover payments to help sell the company’s planes in Japan, the Netherlands and other foreign countries. The subsequent furor toppled the government of Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka.
A native of Walker County, Ala., Haughton graduated from the University of Alabama in 1933 and went to work for Lockheed in 1939 as a systems analyst at the Vega Airplane Co., then a Lockheed subsidiary, in Burbank.