From Cook, Minnesota, Wien attended Dunwoody Institute to take up mechanics. Ray Miller taught him to fly in 1921 after which he went barnstorming with Clarence Hinck’s Federated Flyers aerial circus. Wien saw an opportunity to fly in Alaska and migrated there with his brothers in 1927 and established Wien Alaska Airlines. Wien set many Alaska firsts: He was the first to fly from Anchorage to Fairbanks, the first to fly across the Arctic Circle and first to make a roundtrip flight between North America and Asia. Wien Airlines grew to provide flights to most of the world, and at its end in 1985 could claim title to second oldest airline in the world.