Architect of Lockheed Martin dead at 89

Daniel Tellep, one of the primary architects behind the merger that made Lockheed Martin, has died at age 89.

One of the primary architects behind the 1995 merger that created Lockheed Martin has died at age 89.

Daniel Tellep was the CEO of Lockheed Corp. when he and Martin Marietta CEO Norm Augustine began a series of secret meetings over the course of a year that culminated in the merger of the two defense giants, according to a Lockheed Martin release.

He served as CEO of the combined company for nine months, then remained chairman until 1998.

“Dan and I had been good friends as well as business competitors for many years, even before the opportunity to create Lockheed Martin appeared,” Augustine said in an email sent to Lockheed Martin. “He was a superb engineer, a visionary and a quality human being who truly impacted our nation as well as our company. I count myself fortunate to have known Dan and will truly miss him.”

Tellep began working for Lockheed in 1955 as a principal scientist in the Missiles & Space Co. subsidiary. Lockheed Martin said one of his proudest moments was being honored with the 1964 Lawrence Sperry award by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for his work on re-entry technology and heat transfer.

His family created a tribute page hosted by Lockheed Martin that traces his interest in aeronautics to his childhood when a cousin gave him a model airplane kit in the late 1930s. As an adult, he became a pilot and liked to fly sailplanes. In his later years, he took up painting and writing.

He is survived by four daughters, his first wife, two step daughters from his second marriage, as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Tellep died Thanksgiving morning. The family reported that his final words were: “Live beautifully.”