Born on October 1, 1943, into a prominent Durham, NC African American family, Warren Wheeler’s father John H. Wheeler was a bank executive. Throughout Warren Wheeler’s life, both his mother and father were active in civil rights activities. Warren’s father John H. Wheeler served as a financier while his mother Selena Warren Wheeler worked as a librarian. Interesting as it was neither of his parents was a Black entrepreneur.
As a teenager, Wheeler had the desire of becoming a professional aviator. Early on, Wheeler had a strong desire to become a professional aviator. By the time he graduated from Hillside High School in his hometown in the early 1960s, Wheeler had obtained credentials to fly privately. Shortly thereafter, he went to North Carolina A&T University (now the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) to study for a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
In 1969, air pilot Warren H. Wheeler, founded Wheeler Flying Service (Wheeler Airlines), becoming the first black entrepreneur to own and operate an air service in the United States. Warren H. Wheeler headed Wheeler Airlines over its entire existence (1969–1991). As a Black Entrepreneur this was the venture of his life, the company progressed steadily under his leadership.
Around 1976, because of an increase in business, Wheeler Flying Service was renamed Wheeler Airlines. At its zenith, Wheeler Airlines was chartering flights for over forty thousand customers annually. This success allowed the airline to add several planes to its fleet. Wheeler also established Wheeler Regional Airlines, which provided nationwide air service to its clientele.
In 1983, the entrepreneur Wheeler created Caribbean Wings as a subsidiary of Wheeler Airlines. As an Black entrepreneur, aviator, and businessman, Wheeler paved the way for African Americans and other people of color who sought aviation careers.