Art Collins' father owned several thousand acres of farmland. Collins attended several colleges although he never received a degree.  Later he started a very successful radio business. Collins began to take his business into more research and development while his father, M. H. Collins, managed the financial end of his son's business until his death.
After his father died, Art Collins began to take the company into less profitable ventures, resulting in near-bankruptcy. Collins looked for buyers, and finally found the Rockwell family, who stepped in to save the company. The Rockwells first purchased stock in the company and then finally pressured the stockholders to exclude Collins out of the management end of the business. While still part of the Rockwell-Collins company, Collins started a new, more experimental, and smaller-scale business in Dallas, Texas, called Arthur Collins.