United Airlines will generate more than $15 billion in revenue this year. Yet the airline remains in the throes of a voluntary reorganization filed in 2002 under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Perhaps the end is in sight, but one wonders whether United would have been in such a predicament if the man who led United for 30 years, from its birth to the nation’s largest airline, had still been around. Quick-witted “Pat? Patterson was not only a true visionary, and a man who placed safety on a par with profits, he knew how to run an airline. Pat was born in 1899 on Oahu, Hawaii. His father, an overseer of a sugar plantation, died when Pat was eight. Pat's mother struggled for several years before moving in with relatives in San Francisco, leaving her son, 13, at the Honolulu Military Academy. A few months later Pat sneaked out and persuaded the captain of a schooner bound for San Francisco to sign him on as a cabin boy.