Rolla Duane Cole ( April 1st, 1914 - February 3rd, 2004 ) was born in Toulon Township ( Illinois, United States ).
He earned his private license in 1938, followed by his commercial in 1939 and instructor in 1940. Duane Cole performed in his first airshow in 1940, followed by training cadets ( both U.S.A.A.F. and R.A.F. ) in the Civilian Pilot Training Program throughout the Second World War.
He performed from 1947 - 1963 as part of the Cole Brothers Airshows along with his brothers Arnold, Lester and Marion, who remained in the business for many years flying a 65 hp clipped wing Taylorcraft BF - 50.
Duane Cole left the airshow business in 1963 following the death of his son, Rolly, who was killed during airshow practice over a farm field practicing for the EAA fly - in held at Rockford ( Illinois ). The following year, Duane Cole was asked to produce and manage the Reno Air Races, which had been dormant for some years. He continued to produce the Reno races at least into the 1970's.
In 1971, Duane Cole and his wife Judy established the Duane and Judy Cole Award to individuals that promote sport aviation with the first award given to Paul Poberezny ( 1921 - 2013 ).
In 1974, he won the Aviation / Spacewriters Award for best book The Flying Coles.
( source : Wikipedia )