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Thomas Sopwith

Sir Thomas Octave Murdock Sopwith (January 18, 1888 - February 6, 1989) was a pioneer of aviation as early as 1910 as well as a celebrated yachtsman who made an America's Cup challenge.

Sopwith Aviation Company was the company he founded that produced key British World War I aircraft. Bankrupted after the war by the punitive anti-profiteering taxes, he re-entered the business a few years later with a new firm named after his chief engineer, H.G. Hawker. Sopwith was chairman of the new firm and was knighted in 1953.

After the nationalization of what was by then Hawker Siddeley, he continued to work as a consultant as late as 1980. His 100th birthday was marked by a flypast of military aircraft over his home.

His authorized biography is Pure Luck by Alan Bramson, with a foreword by the Prince of Wales (ISBN 1852602635).

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Another Thomas Sopwith (1803-1879) was an eminent geologist and fellow of the Royal Society.