From AstronomyOutreach network
Meade Instruments was founded in 1972 by John Diebel who was working as an engineer at Hughes Aircraft at the time.
After procuring a loan of $2500, Diebel made his first purchase from a telescope supplier in Japan and placed an ad in Sky & Telescope magazine. The company was originally called "Mead", but afterwards the name was changed adding the "e" at the suggestion of a co-worker at Hughes.
Meade Instruments eventually became one of the world's largest telescope manufacturers for amateur astronomy with distribution in over thirty countries. John Diebel retired from Meade Instruments in 2003, and today the company is managed by its CEO Steve Murdock.