Brock was a "Do-er"
Miami Herald, June 4, 2005
By Carli Teproff
When J. Dan Brock would fly to Europe for business in the early 1960s, he hated having to stop at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. As the senior vice president of marketing for the now defunct National Airlines, he knew he had to do something. Out of his frustration grew a plan that ultimately became the first non-stop flight from Miami to London.
Brock, who served as the senior vice president of marketing and as a member of National Airlines board of directors for nearly 18 years, died Sunday [Morning, May 29, 2005] in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at age 89. Brock was known to family and friends as a "do-er.''
"If something had to get done, he did it," said his son Dan Brock Jr., former senior vice president of Piedmont Airlines.
J. Dan Brock was born Feb. 19, 1916, on a farm outside of Montgomery, Ala. When he graduated [Sidney Lanier] high school, he attended Tulane University in New Orleans, but financial problems forced him to drop out.
In 1938 he joined Eastern Airlines, and handled various traffic and sales responsibilities in Montgomery and then in Atlanta. In 1941, he joined Pan American Airways and was sent to Bermuda. When World War II broke out, Brock enlisted, feeling guilty.
"He was exempt, but he couldn't stand seeing his friends going off to war," his son said.
After World War II, Brock returned to Alabama where he ended up working for TACA International Airlines, which had several Central American posts. During a stint in the Republic of Panama he met his wife, Alice Jones, a draftsman for the U.S. Army.
"They were married within eight days," said Dan Brock Jr. "The courtship might have been short, but they were married almost 57 years."
J. Dan Brock stayed with TACA until he became vice president of traffic and sales at Frontier Airlines. In 1962, when L.B. Maytag purchased National Airlines, Brock came to Miami and served as National's senior vice president of marketing until his retirement in 1981.
"He was a capable, straight-shooting, competent man," said William Howard, a former Eastern Airlines senior officer. "Even though he was a competitor, we thought highly of him."
While in Miami, Brock and his wife raised three children.
"I wanted to be like him," said his son, Dan Brock Jr., whose first job out of college was cleaning the food trays after a flight.