Donald W. Douglas (1892-1981) founded the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1921 in Santa Monica, California, on the site of what today is the Santa Monica airport. The company produced a series of mostly undistinguished military aircraft in the 1920s, although a group of modified DT torpedo bombers were converted into the “World Cruisers” which circumnavigated the globe in 1924. In the 1930s Douglas created the DC-2 and DC-3 commercial aircraft, forever cementing its place in aviation history. During World War II Douglas built attack aircraft and light bombers for the U.S. Army and Navy, as well as military variants of its DC-3 transport. After World War II it made a wide variety of civil and military aircraft.
Douglas merged with McDonnell in 1967 and primarily built jet airliners as part of the combined entity, McDonnell-Douglas, which was in turn acquired by Boeing in 1997.