Born in Talke Village near Stoke on Trent on 20 May 1895.
Leaving school in 1911 aged 16 he joined the locomotive engineering company, Kerr Stewart & Co of Stoke as an apprentice and upon completion of his apprenticeship he began working in the drawing office.
At night school however he continued his education studying engineering, mechanics and higher mathematics and with the use of a home based lathe he mastered practical engineering.
In 1917, at the age of 21, a partnership that was to have a significant effect upon his future was formed when he joined the Supermarine Aviation Works as a designer and by 1918, recognising the excellent skills that he had, Reginald Mitchell was appointed Chief Designer by Hubert Scott-Paine the Managing Director of Supermarine.
As seaplane manufacturers, Supermarine were attracted by the Schneider Trophy contests although until 1922 when Mitchell took over complete control of the design for that years entry, the competition was dominated by Italy, who having won the Trophy in 1920 and 1921 meant that a further win in 1922 would secure them the Trophy outright.
Mitchell's aircraft was the only challenger to the Italian's in the 1922 Schneider Trophy and flown by Captain Henri C Baird it won, also taking four new Marine World Records.
Mitchell was however a sick man. He underwent an operation to remove abdominal cancer late in 1933 and almost died. He was told that if their was no recurrence within five years he would likely survive but following that operation he never fully recovered his vitality and remained a weak man.
Over the next two years his health deteriorated and resisting all medical advice he drove himself hard, working not only on the Spitfire but also the Type 317 long range, four engined bomber. On 11th June 1937 Reginald Joseph Mitchell died aged just 42