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What's in an airport name?

By Todd Leopold, CNN
November 22, 2013 -- Updated 1405 GMT (2205 HKT)
William B. Hartsfield, who served six terms as mayor of Atlanta from 1937 to 1962, was instrumental in developing the city's airport: first by helping to select the landing field and, later, leading the way for a new terminal. The Atlanta airport is now the busiest airport in the world. William B. Hartsfield, who served six terms as mayor of Atlanta from 1937 to 1962, was instrumental in developing the city's airport: first by helping to select the landing field and, later, leading the way for a new terminal. The Atlanta airport is now the busiest airport in the world.
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Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
Chicago O'Hare International
McCarran International (Las Vegas)
Louis Armstrong International (New Orleans)
General Mitchell International (Milwaukee)
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International
Lambert-St. Louis International
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International
William P. Hobby (Houston)
Logan International Airport (Boston)
Rick Husband Amarillo International
Charlotte Douglas International
Dulles International (Washington suburbs)
LaGuardia (New York)
Dallas Love Field
Bradley International (Hartford)
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • War heroes, civil rights leaders and a musician: Airport namesakes cover a lot of terrain
  • One airport namesake was court-martialed for criticizing his superiors
  • Another built the airport himself and then sold it to the city

Editor's note: Check out CNN.com's ATL24 multimedia special report, a 24-hour peek behind the scenes at the world's busiest airport.

(CNN) -- You know the airport names: Hartsfield-Jackson. O'Hare. Logan. Lambert.

ATL24: Inside the world's busiest airport

But, all too often, they're just names. What about the people these American airports are named for?

You might be surprised to find out just who's being honored by having their monikers on some of America's most important travel links.

We'll skip the presidential airports -- JFK, Reagan National and so on, and look at some of the less evident namesakes. Check out the gallery to meet the people behind the airport names.

ATL24: A day in the life of the world's busiest airport

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