Eastern Air Lines began in 1926 and last flew on January 18, 1991. Aviation pioneer Harold Pitcairn was the founder. He built airplanes and began the first carrier air mail route from New York to Atlanta under his company, Pitcairn Aviation. In 1929, Pitcairn was sold to Clement Keys of National Air Transport for $2.5 million. Keys changed the name to Eastern Air Transport and began passenger service the next year on daily round-trips between New York and Richmond. The airline grew, was purchased by General Motors and the name changed to Eastern Air Lines in 1934. In 1938, World War I flying ace Edward V. Rickenbacker purchased the airline, led it to become by the 1950s the most profitable airline in the United States, and took it into the jet age in the 1960s. Former astronaut Frank Borman became president of Eastern in 1975 and tried to manage the airline through the era of airline deregulation, labor union conflict, and heavy debt, ending with the sale of Eastern to Frank Lorenzo and Texas Air in 1986. The airline entered bankruptcy in March 1989, and ended service in less than two years.