William A. Korbel ’49

William A. Korbel ’49, of Milwaukee, Wis., passed away Aug. 2, 2008, of congestive heart failure, nine months after his wife of 32 years, Constance Daniell, died. He was 84. He grew up in Kenosha, the third of four children born to Slovak immigrants. At 18, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II, learning to fly before he was 20. He served as a pilot instructor in Georgia and Alabama. Once discharged from the service, Korbel went to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His studies were interrupted when he was recalled during the Korean War. Korbel flew more than 100 missions as a fighter pilot in Korea. Back at UW, he earned both his bachelor’s degree and a law degree by 1955. Korbel joined a small television production company. He took a two-year sailing trip with a friend down the Mississippi River and to the Bahamas. He flew surplus jets to Mexico for a Canadian firm, also helping to train Mexican pilots. In 1962, he worked in his good friend Gaylord Nelson’s successful campaign for the U.S. Senate. Korbel did a stint in legal practice, but that proved a bit tame. In 1966, he began working in Southeast Asia for Air America, the civilian airline heavily financed by the Central Intelligence Agency during the Vietnam War, explaining most of his flying missions were for civilian projects handled by the Agency for International Development. He made headlines in 1973-“Soldier of Fortune Joins Nelson Staff”-as Nelson campaigned for re-election to the U.S. Senate. In 1975, Korbel married Constance Daniell, a longtime reporter and editor with The Milwaukee Journal. He is survived by daughters, Tina Patrick McGilligan Daniell, Laurie Daniell, and Wendy Michael Rhodes; grandchildren, Clancy, Sabiha, Bowie, Sky, and Wilelm; great-grandchildren, Michael and Angelo; and nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.