Juan de la Cierva y Codorníu, 1st Count of De La Cierva (21 September 1895 – 9 December 1936) was a Spanish civil engineer, pilot and aeronuatical engineer. His most famous accomplishment was the invention in 1920 of the Autogiro, a single-rotor type of aircraft that came to be called autogyro in the English language. After four years of experimentation, De la Cierva developed the articulated rotor which resulted in the world's first successful flight of a stable rotary-wing aircraft in 1923 with his C.4 prototype.
De la Cierva was born in Murcia, Spain to a wealthy family. After several successful experiments with aviation as a boy, he eventually earned a civil engineering degree. He moved to England in 1925, where with the support of Scottish industrialist James G. Weir, he established the Cierva Autogiro Company. (Wikipedia)