GB and Tex - I see your point, but I respectfully beg to differ. No, I wasn't around back in 1971 and maybe most of my information has come from *revisionist* sources, but I still maintain that Herb is, was and will always be "the man" behind Southwest's success.
I will be the first to agree that Lamar Muse does not get even a fraction of the credit he deserves. Not only did he develop a great strategy at Southwest, but he had a pretty good track record at Trans Texas before that. In fact, there are people who credit him with conceptualizing the first cargo hub system when he was up at Universal in Detroit.
Putnam quit Southwest for a number of reasons, not least of all the Braniff job, but also because he did not agree with his Chairman (Herb Kelleher) on some issues. And of course, Herb stepped in to replace him.
However, Air Southwest would never have ever become Southwest Airlines had it not been for Herb Kelleher's drive. They would never have entered the California markets if it wasn't for the slot trading deal that Herb engineered. The Wright Amendment wouldn't even have its little loopholes if it wasn't for Herb. Simply put, Herb is the "father of Southwest" as we know it. Nothing more, nothing less. That is the only point I seek to argue!
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada