Flashback: Jim Holahan Remembered

 - July 6, 2022, 8:16 AM

With AIN Media Group's Aviation International News and its predecessor Aviation Convention News celebrating the company's 50th year of continuous publication this year, AIN’s editorial staff is going back through the archives each month to bring readers some interesting events that were covered over the past half-century.

REWIND (August 2015): James Holahan, the founding editor of this magazine, died at the age of 94 on July 4 at home in Saddle River, N.J. with his family by his side.

Holahan, “Jim” to those who knew him, retired from AIN in 1998 at the age of 77, conceding his long career to macular degeneration. Jim grew up in Jersey City, N.J. and commuted across the Hudson River to school in Manhattan, but it was perhaps his time in single seats of Air Corps P-38 Lightning fighters during WWII and Lockeed F-80 fighters during the Korean War that shaped the scrappy tenacity that would mark his subsequent career as an editor and journalist.

FASTFORWARD: In 1972, at the age of 51, and after establishing himself as an aviation journalist of some renown, Holahan joined with AIN co-founder and CEO Wilson Leach to launch NBAA Convention News, a publication focusing solely on the business aviation industry, which later morphed into Aviation Convention News, and eventually the present Aviation International News. With a reputation as a tenacious and tireless worker, Leach noted that it was only Holahan’s failing eyesight that hindered his ability to edit the publications to his own unflinching standards that led him to finally retire while in his late 70s, after 27 years at the helm of the magazine, rather than any lack of drive. He left behind a legacy of journalistic dedication, excellence, and integrity that his three successor editors-­in-chief have strived to emulate as AIN reaches its half-century milestone.