Video Courtesy: South Dakota Public Broadcsting
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AMERICAN ACE: THE JOE FOSS STORY (Study Guide, Facts & More
): Joe Foss - World War II ace, Medal of Honor winner, governor, football commissioner, TV show host, business executive - is one of South Dakota’s most famous sons. His story is the focus of AMERICAN ACE: THE JOE FOSS STORY, a production of South Dakota Public Television. Foss, born to a South Dakota farm family in 1915, fell in love with airplanes as a boy. After his father died, this young man, still in his teens, put his dreams away to keep the family farm running. When his younger brother took over, he went on to college and learned to fly. He joined the Marines, and earned his wings at age 26, but was told he was too old to be a fighter pilot. But Foss persevered, getting his chance just months after Pearl Harbor. Foss proved himself over Guadalcanal. In just six weeks, he shot down 23 Japanese planes. A couple of months later, he added three more. He earned international fame and the Medal of Honor. After the war, he returned to South Dakota, starting a business, running for office and becoming Governor in 1955. His next claim to fame was as the first Commissioner of the American Football League. He went on to host two popular sports shows for television, excel as a business executive and support many charities and organizations.