Larry E. Price, W4RA, Silent Key: ARRL and IARU President Emeritus and Honorary Member of the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame
American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Emeritus, Larry E. Price, W4RA, of Statesboro, Georgia, died on September 10 at the age of 85.
At the age of 16, Larry was one of the first to qualify for the Novice Amateur licence. He entered college to study Electrical Engineering (EE) and upon graduation, worked in test equipment design at Bendix Aviation.
Upon being drafted into the military, he put his EE degree, Amateur licence and knowledge of the Morse Code to good use in military special signals programs. Afterwards, he returned to university to earn the MBA and Ph.D in finance and banking. He later joined the Business Faculty of Georgia Southern University, became Department Head in Finance and Law, and then Emeritus Professor.
Larry was active in Amateur Radio leadership roles for more than 30 years. He served as the ARRL President from 1984 until 1992 and as the President of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) from 1999 until 2009.
He attended numerous meetings of the ITU World Radio Conference and is credited with protecting Amateur Radio frequency allocations and the creation of new Amateur Radio LF bands, and the expansion of 40 metres in ITU Regions 1 and 3.
Larry was recognized by many societies for his contribution to Amateur Radio. In 2014, he was named Dayton Hamvention’s Amateur of the Year and he was presented with the ARRL Medal of Honour at the ARRL Centennial Convention in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Norwegian Radio Relay League appointed Larry as Knight of the Order of the Golden Key for his many years of service to the IARU, the ARRL, and Amateur Radio in general. The Radio Society of Great Britain honoured him with its Calcutta Key for promoting international goodwill.
At the 2009 annual meeting of the International Amateur Radio Club, he was honoured with an ITU Certificate of Achievement by ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré, HB9EHT. In 2006, the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) elected Larry to its Hall of Fame. On Saturday, May 21, 2016, Larry was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame (CARHOF) as an Honorary Member at the 2016 Dayton Hamvention by RAC President Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA and former CARHOF Chair Ed Frazer, VE7EF. The appointment was in recognition of Larry’s many years of support of Radio Amateurs of Canada and Amateur Radio in Canada.
As President and later as President-Emeritus of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Larry was very generous with his time and advice in support of the leaders of the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation (CARF) and the Canadian Radio Relay League (CRRL) in their difficult negotiations toward the merger that created RAC in 1993. He not only attended both CARF and CRRL meetings, but he continued to visit and provide much advice to RAC for years after the merger. This precedent set by Larry continues to the present day.
Larry also ensured that the RAC President, or his representative, was welcome at the ARRL Board and Annual General Meetings. During his earlier office as ARRL Vice-President International Affairs, Larry invited the opinions of respected Canadian Amateurs during critical radio debates at the World Radio Conferences of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland. He was a tireless supporter of Canadian Amateur Radio interests for many years.
IARU Secretary and retired ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, enjoyed a 46-year relationship with Larry:
“As a young ARRL staffer, I had the good fortune to be asked to serve as Assistant Secretary of the ARRL Foundation in 1973 and worked closely with Larry from that point on. His accomplishments as President of the ARRL and the IARU are too many to list, but neither organization would be what it is today without his vision, dedication, and hard work. We all owe a great debt to Larry and his family for their many sacrifices on our behalf.”
IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, recalls his many years of association with Larry:
“The Amateur Radio fraternity has lost a valued colleague today. Larry Price was the Dean of the IARU, and under his leadership the organization not only achieved great success for the Amateur Radio services but the respect of those we work with in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). His work and tenacity on a number of issues gave the IARU the admiration of many administrations and senior leadership at the ITU, which we continue to enjoy today.”
For additional information on Larry’s achievements please visit:
— With thanks to Ed Frazer, VE7EF, former CARHOF Chair of Trustees and to the Amateur Radio Relay League and the International Amateur Radio Union
RAC MarCom Director