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TOBIN, EDGAR (1897–1954). Edgar Tobin, pilot, businessman, and philanthropist, son of William G. and Ethel (Murphy) Tobin, was born in San Antonio, Texas, on September 7, 1897. He was a graduate of San Antonio Military Academy and a member of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker's "Hat in the Ring" air squadron during World War I; he earned the title "ace" after he had downed five enemy planes and an observation balloon. He returned to San Antonio after the war and started the Tobin Aerial Surveys firm. After entering the commercial mapping field for Humble Oil and Refining Company (now Exxon Company, U.S.A.), he established a reputation in mapping operations for oil companies. During World War II his company mapped the entire United States for the federal government, and he served as special civilian adviser to Gen. Henry H. Arnold, United States Army Air Forces. In San Antonio he generously contributed to many charitable organizations. Tobin was married to Margaret Batts, a regent of the University of Texas from 1947 to 1955 and daughter of Robert Lynn Batts, on November 10, 1926, in Austin; they had a son and a daughter. Tobin died on January 10, 1954, near Shreveport, Louisiana, in a plane crash that took the lives of eleven other prominent businessmen, one of whom was Thomas Elmer Braniff. Tobin was buried in Sunset Memorial Park in San Antonio. At the time of his death his company was the largest aerial mapping firm in the world. The Edgar Tobin Foundation was established in San Antonio.


Dallas Morning News, January 11, 12, 1954. San Antonio Express, January 11, 12, 1954.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"TOBIN, EDGAR," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed October 09, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.