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|Born||April 3, 1886|
|Died||March 21, 1976 (aged 89)|
Orange County, California, United States
Rickenbacker was born in Basel, Switzerland as Adolf Rickenbacher. He immigrated in 1891 to the United States with older relatives after his parents died, settling in Columbus Ohio and later southern California. He Anglicized both his own name, and that of his company, to Rickenbacker to capitalize on the popularity of his distant cousin, America's top Flying Ace Eddie Rickenbacker. The World War I ace himself had felt pressure to change the spelling of his name because of the wave of anti-German sentiment caused by the war, in an effort to "take the Hun out of his name." Eddie was already well known at the time, so the change received wide publicity. "From then on", as he wrote in his autobiography, "most Rickenbachers were practically forced to spell their name in the way I had..."
Adolph Rickenbacker died from cancer in Orange County, California in 1976 at the age of 89.
- Rickenbacker, Edward V., Rickenbacker: an Autobiography, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1967, p. 115.