1961 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"Trust your instincts."
Warren Grimes was raised in an orphanage. His formal education ended with the ninth grade, but he continued reading to educate himself. At 16, he went to work for the Ford Motor Company and became interested in the field of electricity. He was instrumental in making the first lights for the old Ford trimotor airplanes. In 1930, Grimes moved to Urbana, Ohio, where he founded a small light fixture plant, but his business was wiped out by the Depression. While recuperating from an illness, he worked out his first aircraft invention, the familiar red, green, and white navigation lights found on the wing tops and tails of aircraft. He later developed other important aircraft fixtures, including landing and instrument lights. The Grimes Manufacturing Company, which he organized to manufacture this equipment, eventually produced more aircraft lights than any other plant in the world. He served as mayor of Urbana and was chairman of the State of Ohio Aviation Board.* Deceased