Tom Crowell, founder of the aircraft brokerage JetBrokers, died peacefully at his home in Chesterfield, Missouri on January 1, 2021. He was 84.
Tom’s lifelong interest in aviation began with a PanAm Clipper flying boats at the nearby LaGuardia Airport Marine Terminal. This early fascination with aviation continued throughout his life.
After graduating from Power Memorial Academy, Tom began his career at General Motors, taking a leave of absence later to enlist in the United States Army. Following his military service, he returned to GM.
Once back in New York, Tom graduated from City University of New York, Bernard M. Baruch School of Business with a degree in International Trade & Marketing. Tom eventually followed his love of aviation to AirResearch at MacArthur Airport in Long Island, New York. His adventurous career rose to executive-level marketing and sales positions at Rockwell International, Falcon Jet (Dassault), Aviall, Sabreliner Corporation, and MidCoast Aviation. These roles prepared Tom to found and successfully grow his own corporation in 1993: JetBrokers. Tom’s legacy continues at JetBrokers, an international jet brokerage firm with offices in the U.S. and Europe, which has successfully sold more than 480 aircraft in 27 years.
“It was here that Tom was both my muse and my mentor,” commented Jeremy Cox, President of JetValues. “Tom’s somewhat brash personality enabled him to easily mix, reassure, disarm, and most importantly, impress anyone.”
Tom was a people person with extensive knowledge of all aspects of the business jet industry. He generously shared this knowledge with the next generation: by encouraging people to start their own companies, by being a good friend, and by mentoring their careers, including those of his son, Tom and his daughter, Debbie.
“Tom would treat the line-boy at an FBO with the same respect and charming whit as he would anyone. Unfortunately, one of the truly greats in business aviation has flown West,” said Cox.
Hunter Weiss, President of Welsch Aviation and former colleague of Crowell’s said, “An old Irish proverb says, “The best things in life are the people we love, the places we have been and the memories we have made along the way” which I believe exemplifies Tom’s perspective on life. Tom touched many people on his journey and mentored many of us often without directive but with his example. Tom will live on through us forever and we thank him.”
He travelled the world for business and had many adventures with his wife, Carol, seeing the world by cruising the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, from New Zealand to Alaska, from the Baltic and Maritime Provinces to South America and more.
Tom’s life-long motto, “Good, better, best—never let it rest—until good is better and better is best,” was well-practiced.