Born in the coal-mining area of Alabama, Daniel J. Haughton worked as a youngster in his father's community store, and later in the mines to pay his way through the University of Alabama. He joined Lockheed as a systems analyst in Burbank, California in 1939, destined to serve as executive vice-president, president and chairman of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation before retirement. In 1951, he was chosen to head a team to establish and manage operations for Lockheed in the former Bell Bomber Plant, Marietta, Georgia. Their mission was to refurbish B-29s for the Korean Conflict and to build B-47's under license from Boeing. Having established a successful operation, Haughton persuaded the corporation to support a major move shift production of the C-130 Hercules from Burbank to Marietta. The Hercules program has proved to be one of the most successful in aviation history: the military and commercial transport has enjoyed uninterrupted production for nearly forty years, with delivery of more than 2,000 aircraft for operation by 64 nations, and has generated thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Georgia's economy. Along with the C-130, the plant also produced the C-141 Starlifter and the C-5 Galaxy mainstay transports of the U.S. Air Force strategic and tactical airlift campaigns from Vietnam in the 1960s to the airlifts and airdrops in Bosnia. Haughton oversaw development of such famous craft as the high altitude U-2 and SR-71 reconnaissance planes and the L-1011 TriStar commercial jetliner.
Perhaps the greatest challenge and achievement of his career, however, was his rescue of his company from bankruptcy when times were tough. The Greater Los Angeles Press Club named him "Headliner of the Year" in 1971 "for the most delicate balancing act in the annals of modern American Business" as he wooed British and American governments to support his strategy which returned the corporation to profitability without cost to the taxpayers. "Ronald Reagan may be called the 'great communicator,' but Dan Haughton was the best of all," a loyal Lockheed employee said. "Dan believed in the old-fashioned way of making a profit - by earning it." Haughton was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in July 1987.
Daniel J. Haughton, known to Fortune Magazine for his “red dirt Southern courtliness" and to his employees as "Uncle Dan," was enshrined May 7, 1994.