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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Croly, Donald B., 1913-2012


Biographical Note

Donald Benjamin Croly (1913-2012) was a Boeing illustrator for at least 18 years, circa 1940s-1970s.

Donald B. Croly was born on September 26, 1913 to Benjamin and Viola Croly in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. By 1930, he was residing in Detroit, Michigan. He attended the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, Meinzeinger School and Detroit School of Art. Croly joined Sears' advertising department and worked as an advertising artist in Detroit, Michigan. He also worked as a layout draftsman at Ford's Willow Run manufacturing plant that made bombers. Croly likely started working for Boeing in the late 1940s and was an illustrator there for at least 18 years. His art also was on display in San Francisco, California and Seattle, Washington galleries.

Croly married his first wife, Helene P. Hoffman (1917-1971), on July 5, 1938. He married his second wife, Elizabeth Harisberger (1912-) on March 27, 1972. Croly married his third wife, Blanche Maizie Rathke (1915-2008), on August 14, 1977. He died on January 12, 2012 in Washington state.

Biography derived from collection materials and records on

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Donald B. Croly Boeing Concept Art Collection

Identifier: 2011-03-14
Contents of the Collection The Donald B. Croly Boeing Concept Art Collection holds 39 pieces of concept art created by Croly, circa 1940s-1970s, during his time as an artist at the Boeing Company. Most are original gouache paintings, although there are three pen and ink and graphite drawings and two photographic reproduction posters. Scenes primarily depict aircraft in a variety of settings, including in flight, parked at terminals and engaged in U.S. Air Force military operations. A small number feature...

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