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Granger Whitelaw (Born October 30, 1966) is an American born Inventor, Venture Capitalist, Philanthropist and Serial Entrepreneur, famous for his work in Aerospace, Indy Car Racing and Child Protection. Whitelaw lives in Palm Beach, Fl with his wife and youngest child of four. His Given name at birth was Granger Brewster Teeple but was changed to Granger Brewster Whitelaw after his legal adoption by Edmund Randolph Whitelaw of St. Louis, Mo proceeding the marriage to his mother at age 7 in Vail, Co.
Whitelaw's biological Father was Grant Teeple, a well Known pioneer in the development of Vail, CO as evidenced by the Memorial to him on "Ramshorn", one of Vail's main Ski runs and the Vail memorial park. His Mother, Carolyn Swanepoel (aka Carolyn Teeple Whitelaw) was on the US Interski Demonstration Ski Team in 1968 also memorialized on the top of Aspen Mountain. His mother was remarried to Edmund Randolph Whitelaw in Vail, Co in July of 1974 and they moved to California briefly and then to St. Louis, Mo where the Whitelaw family had lived for over 100 years. His Great Grandfather, Edmund O'Donnell owned a number of the main shipping warehouses on the Waterfront in St. Louis, now known as Jefferson National Expansion Memorial or "ARCH", which was taken in an eminent domain act by the US Government in 1943.
He is a descendant of William Brewster, an honored guest on the Mayflower known as the man who formed the first Churches in the US while residing in Plymouth Colony. His home is still there today and toured daily by the public.
Whitelaw has four children, three of them (Granger, Jr, Olivia Peabody and Charles Markham) with his first wife New York Socialite and Debutante, Deirdre Tilford Erickson Metcalf (Tif), Granddaughter of Manton Metcalf III and Teresa Peabody and one (Caroline Christine)from his second wife a school teacher and athlete, Laura Whitelaw, daughter of Thomas and Sheryl Melum, whom he married in 2006.
His eldest son, Granger, Jr. is the lead singer of a popular Teen Pop Band, Six Volt from New Jersey. Granger, Jr is also the youngest musician in history to be added to the "artists roster" at world famous PRS Guitars with legends such as Joe Walsh and Carlos Santana.
Friends describe him as outgoing, eclectic, visionary and generous with a somewhat "larger-than-life" presence and edge, that is sometimes missundertood. An example of this was the quote " He is crazy, but a good kind of crazy" said by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson when asked to describe his friend Granger by Businessweek in it's September 2007 issue.
Whitelaw started his career first in the Army straight out of High School. He was graduated at the beginning of his Junior year and offered a chance to start College, but chose instead to enlist. He had spent several summers at Culver Military academy in Culver, IN and fell in love with the idea of serving his country. This paid off at an early age, as he was the only soldier chosen out of his transferring group in the United Nations Command Honor Guard based in Yongson, Korea in the Spring of 2004. Whitelaw then, after a few years back in school at the University of Minnesota, began his next career as an art dealer and investor. At first Whitelaw would finance artists shows ans take his choice of pieces for his collection and then, through introductions to the New York art scene, would align with the Ohara Galleries and his dear friend Steven Ohara which gave him access to originals by Chagall, Miro and Picasso among a few, which he then began brokering to private collectors and Museums around the world.
Shortly after the war in Kuwait and the crash of the Art Market in 1990, Whitelaw began helping his childhood friend from Vail, Buddy Lazier, with his Indy Car career. By 1995 they had formed a strong partnership and in 1996, driving for Hemelgarn Racing, won the Indianapolis 500. In 1998 he partnered with Eddie Cheever to win his second Indy 500 and had Robby Unser driving for them, placing fifth and receiving the rookie of the year award as well. The 1999 Indy 500 was almost another victory as Whitelaw sponsored Jeff Ward and Pagan Racing whom finished in second place, beaten by Kenny Brack in an exciting race.
Whitelaw's racing career took another leap upward in 2001 when he and partner Dr. Peter Diamandis drew up the first plans for rocket racing in the tradition of an Indy 500 type race. Four years later Whitelaw and Diamandis announced the launch of The Rocket Racing League (RRL) as written by Michael Belfiore in his book Rocketeers, Matthew A. Bently in his book Spaceplanes and followed by the media world wide. The event, at the Yale Club on October 4th, 2005 in New York, whose speakers and attendees included Astronaut Col.Rick Searfoss, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, Erik Lindbergh, Pilot and Grandson of Charles Lindbergh and World famous Aeorobatic pilot, Sean D. Tucker whom also served on the advisory Board to the Rocket Racing League with Lindbergh. Granger also brought in a few of his friends as investors and Board members to the RRL, notably pilot and Stem Cell pioneer Dr. Robert Hariri, America's Cup Winner and Billionaire [Bill Koch] and Game developer and pilot, Mr. Ramy Weitz, whom took over as CEO of Rocket Racing in mid 2008 when Whitelaw resigned this position. Over the next four years Whitelaw lead the company and its financings in order to fulfill the promises of building multiple Rocket Racers, recruiting six new teams to race in the league, completing a "raceway in the sky" technology, getting FAA approval for the league (a feat never before accomplished for a Rocket Powered Plane in the History of Aviation), acquiring Velocity Aircraft to build its own composite aircraft, being awarded multi patents and introducing the world to a new racing sport.
Before Rocket Racing, Whitelaw had been involved in a myriad of venture capital deals and start up companies. His first business in College was Whitelaw Holdings, LLC. It is from here that Whitelaw's entrepreneurship developed and grew. His first foray into business was a fledgling music business, Risque Music, which he formed with a friend from College. Then after a few other projects, he landed found his true love in the art business and then found his way to Manhattan where he discovered Wall Street.