Shank: A Long Life

Photograph of airmail pilot Robert Shank
Shank lived until 1968. He was the only one of the first four civilian airmail pilots to see 1922.

Robert Shank’s common sense brought him long life. Had Shank continued to live the barnstorming lifestyle of his peers, he probably would not have lived to see 1930, much less 1968. After many years of running Bob Shank Airport, he retired to a farmhouse constructed on the airport's grounds. After his retirement, Shank remained an aviation enthusiast, keeping up with the Airmail Pioneers, operating and managing his airport, and continuing to fly until shortly before his death in 1968.