Steven Udvar-Hazy

About Steven Udvar-Hazy

Who is it?: CEO and Chairman, Air Lease Corp.
Birth Year: 1946
Birth Place: Beverly Hills, California, United States
Residence: Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Education: University High School
Alma mater: University of California, Los Angeles (BA)
Occupation: CEO of Air Lease Corporation
Salary: US$1,622,727 (2010) Total: US$57,768,057 (2010)
Spouse(s): Christine Hazy
Children: 4

Steven Udvar-Hazy

Steven Udvar-Hazy was born on 1946 in Beverly Hills, California, United States, is CEO and Chairman, Air Lease Corp.. Steven Udvar-Hazy, who immigrated to New York from Budapest, Hungary as a child, is credited with creating the airplane leasing industry. His first airplane leasing firm, International Lease Finance Corp., was sold to AIG in 1990 for $1.3 billion. He is chairman of Air Lease Corp., which went public in 2011, and is Udvar-Hazy's second company in the airplane leasing industry. Fresh out of UCLA, Udvar-Hazy started his own California airline which struggled to stay in the black, before realizing the money was in leasing. He donated $66 million to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, which put his name on the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
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The Udvar-Házy family came to the US in 1958, fleeing the Soviet occupation of Hungary. Hazy attended University High School in Los Angeles, and the University of California, Los Angeles.


Udvar-Házy was in his 20s during the later part of transition from propeller aircraft to jets during the mid to late 1960s, and realized that the higher capital investment required to purchase jet aircraft created an opportunity for a leasing Business. He founded ILFC with Leslie Gonda and his son Louis Gonda in 1973, leasing a single used Douglas DC-8 to Aeroméxico. He left ILFC in February 2010 to found Air Lease Corporation.


Udvar-Házy gave a US$66 million grant to the Smithsonian Institution that allowed the U.S. National Air and Space Museum to build the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center annex at Washington Dulles International Airport. The annex houses more than 120 aircraft and 140 space-exploration exhibits as of 2006, and also includes the Space Shuttle Discovery. Plans call for eventually installing over 300 aircraft.


The Udvar-Házy family contributed funds to build the Christine and Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Library and Learning Center at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott Campus. This donation is the largest to date made to the university. The Business building at Dixie State University is named after his parents.


In 2016, Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán presented Udvar-Házy the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary for his achievements in airline industry.

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