Leroy Grumman (1895-1982) founded the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. in Bethpage, New York, in 1929. Grumman set about designing fighters for the U.S. Navy, and by the end of the 1930s had entrenched itself with a series of tough, portly biplanes on U.S. carrier decks. It followed this success with the Navy’s leading fighters and torpedo bomber of World War II, followed after the war by jet fighters, patrol and attack aircraft. Grumman also built the lunar module that set astronauts on the moon and started the Gulfstream line of business jets.
Grumman was purchased by Northrop in 1994 to form the Northrop Grumman Corp., which still makes airplanes, but owes little to the Grumman side of its heritage.
Grumman named its fighter aircraft, starting with the F4F Wildcat, after cats. It produced a series of amphibious aircraft that were all named after waterfowl.