Herbert "Herb" David Kelleher (born March 12, 1931) is the co-founder, Chairman Emeritus, and former CEO of Southwest Airlines (based in the United States).
Kelleher was born in Camden, New Jersey on March 12, 1931 and raised in Audubon, New Jersey, where he graduated from Haddon Heights High School. He has a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University where he was an Olin Scholar and where his major was English and his minor Philosophy, and a Juris Doctor from New York University where he was a Root-Tilden Scholar. At Wesleyan he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He is married to the former Joan Negley and they have four children.
The Kellehers moved to Texas intending to start a law firm or a business. Kelleher and one of his law clients, Texas businessman Rollin King, created the concept that later became Southwest Airlines on a cocktail napkin in a San Antonio, Texas restaurant. From its birth in 1971 â after overcoming a year's worth of legal challenges from competitors who tried to keep it grounded â Southwest succeeded by daring to be different: offering low fares to its passengers by eliminating unnecessary services and avoiding the "hub-and-spoke" scheduling system used by other airlines in favor of building traffic in such secondary airports as Albany, Chicago-Midway (instead of Chicago-O'Hare) and Orange County.
Herbert D. Kelleher
- 1931-03-12) March 12, 1931 (age 83)
- Alma mater
- Wesleyan University, New York University
- Known for
- Founder of Southwest Airlines