It all started in 1965 when Fred Smith, a Yale undergraduate, wrote a term paper outlining a system to accommodate urgent, time-sensitive shipments.
On the first night of continuous operation, in 1973, 389 Federal Express team members and 14 Dassault Falcon jets deliver186 packages overnight to 25 U.S. cities.
Then, in 1977, Federal Express purchases seven Boeing 727 aircraft, each with a cargo capacity of 40,000 pounds - almost seven times that of the Dassault Falcon.
Federal Express officially adopts "FedEx" as its brand in 1994. The company is recognized as the worldwide standard for fast, reliable service.
After the movie Cast Away was released, Wilson the volleyball was sold at auction to ex-FedEx Office CEO Ken May for $18,500 in 2000.
Interested in more Behind the Label?
- How Did Intel Get Its Name? Hint: Two Words Blend to Create It
- Chinese Electric Car Company: NIO
- Curious About the History of Salesforce? Here's What Investors Should Know
- Tesla: 15 Years of Automotive History
- Behind the Smile: Inside Walmart
- Shopping for History: A Macy's Timeline
- How Alibaba Got to Where It Is Today
- From a Dorm to Silicon Valley: A History of Facebook
- Behind the Stream: A History of Roku