Sam Fondiler was born in Dayton, Ohio. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He worked for Seaboard from 1950 to 1981, serving as vice-president of finance. After the merger, he served as an officer and consultant to Flying Tigers from 1981 to 1984. He was the founder, chairman, and CEO of Tower Air from 1984 to 1988.
Sam was survived by his wife, Rena; and by daughters Susan and Ellen. He was predeceased by his son, Arthur, who died in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.