Hugo Eckener was born in Flensburg on August 10th, 1868. He attended the St. Marien boys' school and later the "Altes Gymnasium". After the school leaving examination (Abitur) he studied philosophy, then did his doctorate and worked as a freelance writer of the "Flensburger Nachrichten".
At about 1900 he moved from Flensburg to Friedrichshafen. In the First World War Eckener trained pilots for airships in Nordholz. Later Hugo Eckener became the successor of Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin. Among other things the zeppelins LZ127 "Graf Zeppelin" and LZ129 "Hindenburg" were made under his management.
On October 12th, 1924 Eckener started the crossing of the Atlantic with the zeppelin LZ 126 in Friedrichshafen. The airship was part of the German reparations to the USA as a result of the First World War. With the landing in Lakehurst on October 15th, 1924 Eckener succeeded in the first Atlantic crossing with a zeppelin. Only the English airship R34 had succeeded in it before. The city of Flensburg appointed him honorary citizen after that.
Between the World Wars he belonged to the most highly decorated Germans. Eckener was even suggested as a candidate for the presidential election in 1932. He withdrew the candidature, however, when Hindenburg was nominated once more. Since he did not support the policy of the National Socialists, he lost the management of the zeppelin plants at the beginning of 1936.
He died in Friedrichshafen on August 14th, 1954.
Translation by the BOS07